A C-130J Super Hercules was converted into a flying critical care unit in mid-air after leaving Ramstein on a real-world mission July 26, 2014.
“There is no other capability like this [here],” said Maj. Jennifer Jamison Gines, 86th Medical Squadron acute care nurse practitioner. “We had a team of people come up with this arrangement. We literally practiced with Lego pieces to visually develop the complicated special limitations.”
Every inch of the C-130 was configured with the same amount of medical supplies that would normally be used on a C-17.
Airmen from the 86th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron along with two teams from the 86th Medical Squadron worked together through low-light conditions and turbulence to complete the set up in approximately three hours.
“We set up two surgery tables with patient-monitoring equipment and several other litters,” said Master Sgt. Jose Ariaspatino, 86th MDS Surgical Services flight chief. “We also set up several side-wall litters designed to get our bags off the ground and easily accessible.”
Airmen from Ramstein had all the equipment necessary to perform surgery on the aircraft if needed.
“It’s not every day that you get to see something like that happen,” said Senior Airman Christian McDevitt, 37th Airlift Squadron loadmaster. “It is remarkable that we have the capability to do such things.”