Stay Aggressive: Battlefield Airman teaches Tactical Combat Casualty Care
By Tech. Sgt. Matt Hecht, 177th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published September 20, 2014
ATLANTIC CITY AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, N.J. -- "Stay aggressive! Stay engaged," yelled Master Sgt. Jose Almeida, to a room filled with security forces Airmen, tactical air control party Airmen, and law enforcement officers from all over Atlantic County, N.J. Almeida, a joint terminal air controller from the 227th Air Support Operations Squadron, is using his combat experience from Afghanistan as well as job experience from his full time position as a combat medic with Miami SWAT to teach over 30 hours of Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC) to battlefield Airmen and local first responders.
TCCC training shows first responders realistic scenarios, as well as life-saving techniques and the best trauma care for battlefield patients. Part of TCCC is care under fire.
"When doing care under fire, you do two things: first, eliminate the threat, then treat the wounded," said Almeida.
Almeida showed the students real life events where care under fire has been used, such as Operation Entebbe in 1976, when Israeli commandos successfully rescued hostages being held at Entebbe Airport in Uganda.
"Those Israeli Defense Force Commandos, they executed care under fire before this became a tactic. It was mission first, and then treat the wounded," said Almeida.
Tech. Sgt. James Armstrong from the 177th Security Forces Squadron training office said, "This is great training, this course teaches you to be an active participant in your own rescue. It's a whole new mindset and new tactics that were learned in Iraq and Afghanistan."
Chief Master Sgt. Mike Allen, chief of the 177th Security Forces Squadron, also weighed in on the training, saying how great it was to have an opportunity to do joint training with local law enforcement.
"It's a way for us to be good neighbors, and offer this training to the local police departments. While the procedures for TCCC were born on the battlefield, this type of training is something that these departments can take back and apply to fallen officer scenarios," said Allen. "These departments are also potential first responders to our Wing, so it's great to have them on the same page when it comes to how the military does business when treating our wounded Airmen."
"This was hands down the best training like this I've ever seen," said Officer Kenneth Winkle from the Egg Harbor Township Police Department. "The instructor was professional, and I hope more of our people get to come to this course."
"I think TCCC is extremely important," said Almeida. This training teaches you how to save your own life, because if you can stay alive, you can affect the lives of others in the fight whether it's ten seconds, ten minutes, or the next ten years of your career."