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Aeromedical team takes title

Reserve Airmen from the 446th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, McChord Air Force Base, Wash., exit a C-17 at the aeromedical evacuation static configuration event during Air Mobility Rodeo 2007, July 24. The event measured a team's ability to perform aeromedical evacuations in a KC-135 and a C-17. Air Mobility Command's Rodeo 2007 is a readiness competition of U.S. and international mobility air forces. It focuses on improving war fighting capabilities and support of the Global War on Terrorism.   (U. S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Clay Lancaster)

Reserve Airmen from the 446th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, McChord Air Force Base, Wash., exit a C-17 at the aeromedical evacuation static configuration event during Air Mobility Rodeo 2007, July 24. The event measured a team's ability to perform aeromedical evacuations in a KC-135 and a C-17. Air Mobility Command's Rodeo 2007 is a readiness competition of U.S. and international mobility air forces. It focuses on improving war fighting capabilities and support of the Global War on Terrorism. (U. S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Clay Lancaster)

The 446th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron team moves a mock patieent from the ground to a litter before carryign him through an obstacle course during the AE challenge course at the Rodeo 2007 competition at McChord Air Force Base, Wash., July 23-27. The team wone the Aune Paget Trophy for best aeromedical team and also won the best aeromedical contingency flight award. (U.S. Air Force photo/Capt. Jennifer Gerhardt)

The 446th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron team moves a mock patieent from the ground to a litter before carryign him through an obstacle course during the AE challenge course at the Rodeo 2007 competition at McChord Air Force Base, Wash., July 23-27. The team wone the Aune Paget Trophy for best aeromedical team and also won the best aeromedical contingency flight award. (U.S. Air Force photo/Capt. Jennifer Gerhardt)

McCHORD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. -- To claim the title of best aeromedical evacuation team at Air Mobility Command's 2007 Rodeo, teams were scored in three times events. To get the scores for the big trophy, a team needs communication. 

Five Airmen from the 446th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron pooled their talents to come away with the Aune Paget Trophy for best overall aeromedical evacuation team, as well as the award for Best Contingency Flight Team. 

Team members were Maj. Esther Aubert, Capt. Joe Foss, Master Sgt. Dave Allen, Tech. Sgt. Kristy Wellman, and Senior Airman Larry Jones. 

The three events the AE team competed in were static configuration, contingency flight and a challenge course. 

"The unknown is the hardest part (of the challenge course)," said Airman Jones, one of three medical technicians on the team. "Not knowing what the tasks are going to be until you get to the course was tough. But we stuck together as a team and I think we did really well." 

"One of our strongest traits as a team is communication," said Sergeant Allen, a medical technician. "We were always talking to each other, keeping us on track and informed of what was going on around us." 

The challenge course involved a quarter mile run, immediately followed up with push-ups, more running, followed by sit-ups, another lap around the track, a medical challenge, then the final sprint around the track. 

The medical challenge required the team to assess a mock patient, insert an IV, and then litter carry the patient through a maze of cones to the recovery station. Once the patient was safely delivered to the recovery station, the AE team made one final lap around the track. 

"I think what stood out the most about the 446th AES Rodeo team was their dedication to each other and to the squadron to show everyone they truly are the best," said Col. Jan Moore-Harbert, 446th AES commander. "Their teamwork was truly evident in the AE challenge course when they stayed together as a team and paced each other and came out totally clean with no write ups. They didn't win the challenge course, but they showed everyone what true teamwork is." 

The strong teamwork and communication was also integral to the other AE events. 

The contingency flight and static configuration events tested the team's ability to set up medical equipment on an aircraft - in this competition the C-17, KC-135, and C-130. During the 30-minute configuration flight, the team had to assess and treat patients, as well as navigate obstacles they might encounter while retrieving a wounded patient from the field. 

"I think the (competition) flight mirrored the real world because AE crews have to be universally qualified to provide care in the air anytime or anywhere," said Colonel Moore-Harbert. 

"I had no doubt the 446th AES was going to bring home the best of the best AE. However, I'm really proud we won the best contingency flight because that is truly our business - taking care of our patients."