AFRL to Open Critical Care Simulation Hub in Ohio

The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) is developing a simulation hub in Ohio to train Critical Care Air Transport teams (CCATT).

The $10-million facility will explore, test, and enhance aeromedical evacuation and critical patient care skills for modern warfare.

Sessions will be conducted in partnership with the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, leveraging civilian expertise to enhance trainee knowledge.

Currently, the institute supports the government with casualty reception and management system capabilities in the event of pandemics, disasters, and conflicts.

Once the academy’s Center for Sustainment of Trauma Readiness (C-STARS) division is up and running, it will lead future lessons in collaboration with the US Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine, a branch of the AFRL’s 711th Human Performance Wing.

AFRL wrote that the CCATT training area will be completed by the summer of 2025.

Members from the 451st Expeditionary Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron Detachment 1 Contingency Aeromedical Staging Facility load a wounded Marine off an ambulance bus onto a C-130 Hercules at Camp Bastion, Afghanistan. The CASF team is responsible for taking care of patients and transporting them from the staging facility and hospital to a waiting aircraft who are then taken to the next level of medical care. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Adrian Cadiz)(Released)
Aeromedical team load a wounded soldier off an ambulance bus onto a C-130 Hercules. Photo: Master Sgt. Adrian Cadiz/US Air Force

“These [military-civilian] relationships are critical to us as a nation; they help us train our medics and sustain our skills needed for our unique operational medical missions, whether that’s in peacetime or wartime,” US Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine Commander Col. Tory Woodard explained.

“We really need to be ready at all times and these relationships help us to be ready.”

‘Next-Generation’ Training

According to the AFRL, the upcoming CCATT center will research expanding the air force’s traditional three-member teams to sustain services for more critical care patients on the evolving battlefield.

The scheme will base its formation on CCATT components deployed during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which incorporated a doctor, nurse, and respiratory therapist.

“We know that the future fight, potentially with peer or near peer competitors, may not afford us the air superiority,” University of Cincinnati C-STARS Director Col. (Dr.) Valerie Sams stated.

“It may not afford us the time [and it] might lead to a whole different context in terms of what types of patients we would be taking care of.”

“Adding additional nurses, for instance, is one of the ways we’re looking to move the training into the next generation. So, we can treat more critical care patients en route than we have historically had to do with the smaller team.”

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