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349th OG jumpstart Tactical Combat Casualty Care training

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Jose Aquilizan
  • 349 AMW Public Affairs

Following a 2021 Secretary of the Air Force announcement that Self-Aid Buddy Care training was being replaced by Tactical Combat Casualty Care training, Master Sgt. Shane Nichols knew his unit’s combat-readiness would be impacted without proactive steps to address the enhancement.

The Secretary of the Air Force issued a memorandum early last year, establishing TCCC certification as the Department of the Air Force standard of care for first responders, and issued a training deadline of April 2023.

For active duty Airmen, having two years to train hundreds or even thousands of people is usually plenty of time, but for Reservists who have just a few days per month to cover a plethora of job and readiness training requirements, 24 months advance notice is nothing short of a call to action.

“The ultimate sustainment goal will be to assemble group level POCs with wing advisor appointments who in turn can manage and train their respective squadron level instructor cadre.” - Master Sgt. Shane Nichols, 349th OSS

And action is what Nichols took.

The chief of C-17 loadmaster training for the 349th Operations Support Squadron couldn’t shake a nagging question; how would aircrew members in his unit and Airmen across the 349th Air Mobility Wing get TCCC training if the course wasn’t made widely available before SABC went away?”

“Though this type of training isn’t specific to aircrew, our office took on the challenge of answering this question for the ops group,” Nichols said.

Nichols noted that there were limited training options because other units were also trying to stand up their TCCC programs as well. His search yielded a collaboration with the 349th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, where two of its members recently completed the instructor course. 

He reached out to aeromedical evacuation technicians Tech. Sgt. Tyler King and Senior Airman Luke Lentz to confirm their interest in helping teach the new program, and after getting the green light from their leadership, they launched their inaugural class last July.

The training is comprised of a didactic session that covers TCCC concepts and philosophy. Following technique demonstrations, the content is further reinforced with various scenarios that simulate hostile environments that Reservists serve in.

“Prior to attending the class, I was really nervous,” said Master Sgt. Ariella Reyes, 70th Air Refueling Squadron aviation resource management superintendent. “But after learning and practicing the life-saving techniques from the program, I feel more confident that I have something to contribute if I ever get placed in a situation that requires my help.”

Encouraged by the momentum generated by their initial offering, the team has now set their sights on expanding their efforts to a wing-level solution.

“The ultimate sustainment goal will be to assemble group level POCs with wing advisor appointments who in turn can manage and train their respective squadron level instructor cadre.” said Nichols. 

TCCC is a Department of Defense standardized course designed to train critical battlefield lifesaving skills for both of their medical and non-medical personnel; the TCCC ASM (All Service Members) course replaces core trauma skills previously taught under Self-Aid Buddy Care.

For additional TCCC information, please contact Tech. Sgt. Tyler King (Primary) or Senior Airman Luke Lentz (Alternate) at (707) 424-3865.