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Nevada Air Guard conducts medical training in Okinawa

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Matthew Lee Greiner
  • 152nd Medical Group

The 152nd Medical Group, Nevada Air National Guard, along with 146th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, and 146th Medical Group from the California Air National Guard at Channel Islands, completed Monday a weeklong Military Facility Annual Training to temporarily backfill active duty military.

The MFAT took place during the permanent change of station time frame, which temporarily left the hospital short staffed and presented a need for the Air National Guard to provide temporary medical support.

“This is the first time that the Air National Guard has entered into Okinawa to do any form of medical training in this country," said Chief Master Sgt. Jason Farnsworth, 152nd Medical Group superintendent.

The medical personnel worked at 15 different medical units and operated at five separate locations during the exercise.

“The MFAT is a fantastic opportunity for the Air National Guard, both for Reno and Channel Islands," said Lt. Col. Jim Vogus, flight physician, 152nd Medical Group. "It gives real world training and facilitates a joint operation experience. We benefit from real world training, they benefit from extra man power.”

More than 30 airmen were involved in the exercise working a variety of professions: clinical specialties, including family medicine, pediatrics, aerospace medicine, laboratory services, dental hygiene, emergency medicine, critical care, hospital medical surgical inpatient care, optometry care, inpatient mental health, pain management, flight medicine, sports medicine and post anesthesia care.

“The Air National Guard is able to fill some critical gaps during our PCS season," said Lt. Jesse Pendergrass, administrative officer, U.S. Naval Hospital in Okinawa Japan.

The cost savings to U.S. Naval Hospital Okinawa was about $200,000, said Maj. Jasmin Quiocson, chief nurse, 146th Medical Group.

Key achievements for the MFAT included 2,439 clinical hours worked; 462 provider-to-patient sessions and 194 continuing education units issued.

“I would love to see other MFAT’s at this installation," Pendergrass said. "I think it is an incredible value add to have a joint operation with the Air National Guard.”

He added: “I think this makes the military stronger. This is the evolution for Navy medicine and U.S. Naval Hospital Okinawa."