GREAT FALLS, Mont. --
More than 50 Montana Air National Guardsman left onboard a 120th Airlift Wing C-130 Hercules headed to the Federal Emergency Management Agency training center in Anniston, Ala., Sunday.
While there members of the 120th Airlift Wing will attend the Health Care Leadership, Hospital Emergency Response Team, and Emergency Medical Operations courses.
These courses will fulfill the medical group’s yearly readiness requirements.
"This training is excellent for us in that it satisfies a number of our annual training requirements in this one week of training," said Chief Master Sgt. Tom Meredith, the 120th Medical Group superintendent.
This year the medical team's goal was to find a training event that would include an exercise without many simulations.
"What we found out here at the [Center-Domestic Preparedness] is that scenarios are extremely realistic and contain very little simulations therefore it makes the training much more valuable," Meredith said.
This training opportunity will bring together many agencies.
"FEMA CDP provides a joint training opportunity to integrate with our local hospital, emergency department, public health, fire department, and public affairs counterparts," said Maj. William Thompson, 120th Medical Group readiness officer. "Joint integrated planning, preparedness, mitigation, response, recovery, training and exercises are requirements for guard medical units."
"It's hard to do anything like this [training] at home station because we don't have these types of resources," Meredith said.
This training is beneficial to the unit as well as to the providers and nurses.
"There are contact hours for providers and nurses towards biennial licensing requirements," Thompson said. "It also provides training in developing and improving the medical group's base support plans; which include the installation comprehensive emergency management plan, the base support and expeditionary site plan, required annexes of the medical contingency response plan and disease containment plan."