Operation Ready Eagle improves contingency medical operations

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Dana Tourtellotte
  • Air Combat Command Public Affairs

More than 4,000 Air Combat Command medical personnel are better prepared for crisis, thanks to a series of Operation Ready EAGLE exercises.

ACC is the lead command for Installation Medical All Hazards Response and led the way in developing Ready EAGLE. This is an Air Force-level program that has trained more than 40,000 Airmen service-wide to enhance medical response to major, home station events. Training events cover everything from medical control center operations to patient decontamination and triage.

Exercises began in 2018 to maximize medical readiness training and prepare medical personnel to respond to all base-wide emergencies such as chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, explosive, environmental, and mass casualty events.

“Prior to the inception of Ready EAGLE, we recognized through inspections and base visits, that there were significant gaps in medical response knowledge and skills,” said Frederick Suedbeck, Air Force IMAHR Program Manager. “We worked with the Air Force Medical Readiness Agency, and with the other major command medical emergency managers to stand up a working group to address the gaps, outline the solution, and to establish a funding stream for contract support.”

Training is accomplished through a five-day, hands-on program based on the ‘crawl, walk, run’ paradigm. Medical personnel participate in seminars, equipment reviews, and tabletop discussions which culminate in a full-scale exercise.

According to Suedbeck, the standardized approach of Ready EAGLE is easy to use anywhere at any time. It enhances both communication and coordination of medical capabilities with key teams and leaders to improve integration with wing response. 

“We have seen an increased level of proficiency and operational integration in our medical contingency response teams across the Air Force,” said Suedbeck, “Additionally, this initiative enabled us to enhance our partnerships with off-base communities and response partners.”

After Ready EAGLE events, installations are provided with tools to support ongoing training, exercises and real-world responses. A key component of Ready EAGLE is teaching medical wing inspection teams how to plan and execute future exercises. 

Inspection teams are expected to continue to facilitate local training and exercises after the conclusion of Ready EAGLE. Additionally, IMAHR-specific assessment checklists are provided to MAJCOMs for follow-up visits to ensure medical teams are continuing to develop and practice their response skills.  

“ACC Medical Teams must be versatile and agile to adapt to any challenges that arise,” Brig. Gen. Robert K. Bogart, Command Surgeon, ACC said, “Ready EAGLE was a vital step to continue to improve our ability to support installation response to home station contingencies.”