Airmen participate in Innovative Readiness Training, serve Georgia residents

  • Published
  • By Senior Master Sgt. Emily Beightol-Deyerle

Twenty-six members of the 167th Airlift Wing, West Virginia Air National Guard, took part in an Innovative Readiness Training event in East Central Georgia, July 11-18.

A 134-member team comprised of Air Force Reserve, Navy Reserve, Active Air Force, Active Navy and Air National Guard provided medical services to Georgia residents in five underserved communities.

The training event is sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs. It is an Air Force Reserve-led, multi-service/component training event intended to build mutually beneficial partnerships between the U.S. Department of Defense and U.S. communities. The mission provides servicemembers with hands-on readiness training opportunities, while providing direct and lasting benefits to residents of each community served.

The event serviced over 3,200 patients, performing more than 4,170 optometry procedures, 5,783 dental procedures, 8,752 medical procedures, 479 nutrition procedures and delivered approximately 1,300 pairs of glasses provided by the Naval Ophthalmic Support and Training Activity.

“We’re really helping a lot of people who really need it,” said Master Sgt. Matthew Stickley, an aerospace medical technician for the 167th Medical Group.

The 167th Medical Group provided optometry, dental, medic, public health, medical administration, nurse, and nutritionist support for the IRT.

Additional support was provided by personnel accountability, food services and public affairs.

“Training was the top priority of the mission, but outcomes of this IRT also included world-class patient care to a population with limited access to medical services,” said Capt. Keith Michael, the 167th Medical Group’s logistics officer.

Michael said the IRT provided a great training platform for members of all ranks and skill sets, by simulating field-like living and operating conditions.

“The 167th MDG personnel were able to accomplish training on medical procedures, patient administration, inventory management, site setup and pack-up procedures and command and control functions not typically available in a home station annual training capacity,” Michael said.

The 167th MDG is looking forward to participating in another IRT in 2020.