Tech. Sgt. Luvens Rorshack, the noncommissioned officer in charge of the Aerospace Operational Medicine Flight in the 90th Operational Medical Readiness Squadron, participated in the exercise April 18-21, along with nearly 100 personnel from seven bases across five major commands.
The purpose of EMEDS is to support Air Expeditionary Forces during major combat, humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, defense support of civil authorities and stability operations, according to the Air Force tactical doctrine for EMEDS.
To fulfill that mission, exercises like these are designed to ensure medical personnel are prepared to provide medical care in difficult situations.
“Effectively, EMED is a team of emergency responders who deploy to disaster locations to render medical aid where it may seem impossible,” said Rorshack. “EMED provides a boost in medical capabilities for that deployed location.”
Conducting the EMEDS training exercise in Alaska is a relatively new but welcome change, according to Maj. Jodi Verkleir, an exercise organizer from JBER.
“Typically, members assigned to an EMEDS are required to go to Camp Bullis, Texas, at Joint Base San Antonio to complete training; however for the 2nd year in a row, JBER has conducted EMEDS training,” said Verkleir. “We are hoping to maintain this training platform yearly here in Alaska.”
The reasoning for the change in scenery went together with a recognition that deployed locations were not always as temperate as San Antonio.
“The training was held here in Alaska because there was a recognized training shortfall,” said Rorshack. “The training is usually held in San-Antonio, where the weather is more favorable; however, the world is unpredictable so we’re being proactive than reactive.”
Verkleir also echoed the value of diverse experience in conducting the training.
“We conducted two EMEDS classes and had a total of 97 personnel receive initial and sustainment credit from 7 bases and 5 major commands,” said Verkleir. “Having a diverse background of people’s experience from deployments or just attending EMEDS training previously helps improves the training greatly.”
While the training is important for military medical personnel, the people that Rorshack works with were not surprised by his selection to participate in the exercise, nor his ability to excel in it.
“Sergeant Rorshack is a valuable member of this team and it’s no surprise that he was selected to participate in EMEDS. He was selected to attend EMEDS due to his dedication not only to his flight, but the Medical Group as a whole,” said MSgt Valerie Aguilera-Nelson, TSgt Rorshack’s supervisor and the Flight Chief of the Aerospace Operational Medicine Flight. “He has always been the person who will help an individual any way he can, but is still the quiet one in corner not wanting recognition for being a good person. The medical training and experience that he obtained will not only benefit the Airmen of the Mighty Ninety but also his future assignment where he will be going to Ramstein Air Base, Germany.”
Rorshack left the experience with positive reviews of its value to Airmen of the Mighty Ninety and the whole of the Air Force.
“I would definitely encourage other medics to attend this course to bolster EMED and I think the 90 OMRS Field Response Team would greatly benefit from the training in the austere environment of Alaska due to the similarities in Wyoming’s climate,” said Rorshack. “Recent world events have shown us that we need to be prepared for anything. We can’t ever be perfect, but excellence at everything we put our minds towards makes the ‘impossible’ more probable.”