177th Medical Group takes on Tactical Combat Casualty Care

  • Published
  • By Airman First Class Hunter Hires
  • 177th Fighter Wing

The 177th Medical Group (177th MDG) underwent Tactical Combat Casualty Care – Medical Provider (TCCC-MP) training at the 177th Fighter Wing, Sept. 14 and 15.

This training was organized by the 177th MDG, who contacted Mr. Chris Mellish, founder of the Southern New Jersey EMS Collaborative, a nonprofit organization that provides training and education to first responders in medical, disaster, and tactical operations.

“Tactical Combat Casualty Care, or TCCC, is for medics, physicians, nurses, physical assistants, nurse practitioners, etc.,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Justin E. Kaenzig, the 4N functional Manager at the 177th Fighter Wing. “It’s training on combat casualty care that you would see implemented in both a deployed location, as well as here in the United States.”

The TCCC-MP course has been heavily commended both by those teaching it and those being taught. However, this pertinent medical training is not a “one-size-fits-all” class.

“There are different levels,” said Kaenzig. “Particularly, we’re going through the medical provider, but there are other levels. There’s a four-hour course, an eight-hour course, a 16-hour course and a 40-hour course.”

Despite how much time this course may consume, Kaenzig believes that the knowledge should be universally taught throughout the entire U.S Air Force, including the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserves.

“I feel that when it comes to the Medical Group, and the Wing as a whole, TCCC-MP would benefit everybody, because it reinforces the Wingman concept,” said Kaenzig. “In a mass casualty situation, anyone is able to be pulled for any situation related to caring for a patient. In my opinion, this training is absolutely necessary for all Airmen to know before they go into the AOR (Area of Responsibility), or combat zones in the United States.”

If the goal is to have more Airmen exposed to this training, the fact that it was hosted here, at the 177th Fighter Wing, is a large step in the right direction.

“The benefit of having the training here is that it increases the maximum amount of Airmen who can receive it,” said Kaenzig.

The TCCC-MP isn’t just beneficial to Airmen whose careers come with a medical inclination.

“It really gets seen by Wing leadership,” said Kaenzig. “Other sections get to see it as well. Our fire department (177th Civil Engineer Squadron firefighters) and ASOS (177th Air Support and Operations Squadron); the Fire Department is made up of first responders, and ASOS ends up in the field.”

The training that the 177th Medical Group underwent is invaluable. Even so, there’s much more training that these Airmen can, and will, take on. With the 177th MDG’s progression of skill and knowledge in the field of medicine, the 177th Fighter Wing is held higher by their remarkable support.