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Operation Dust Storm

Airmen from the 433rd Medical Group perform a litter carry from a CH-47 Chinook assigned to the Texas Army National Guard, during a training exercise at Martindale Army Airfield, San Antonio, TX, Feb 1, 2019.

Airmen from the 433rd Medical Group perform a litter carry from a CH-47 Chinook assigned to the Texas Army National Guard, during a training exercise at Martindale Army Airfield, San Antonio, Feb 1, 2019. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Christopher Boitz)

Sergeant Manuel Acevedo uses his headset to communicate with additional aircrew members of a CH-47 Chinook helicopter at Kelly Field Annex, San Antonio, TX, Feb 1, 2019.

Sergeant Manuel Acevedo uses his headset to communicate with additional aircrew members of a CH-47 Chinook helicopter at Kelly Field Annex, San Antonio, TX, Feb 1, 2019. Acevedo, Texas Army National Guard, 2-149, Aviation Regiment, and his team participated in a inter-service sling load training event, enabling a team of Total Force operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Christopher Boitz)

Sergeant First Class Dion Cortez, left, and Staff Sergeant Charles Jackson look out the doors of a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter during a sling load training event at Martindale Army Airfield, San Antonio, TX, Feb. 1, 2019.

Sergeant 1st Class Dion Cortez, left, and Staff Sgt. Charles Jackson look out the doors of a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter during a sling load training event at Martindale Army Airfield, San Antonio, Feb. 1, 2019. Cortez and Jackson are both Flight Medics assigned to Company C, 2-149, Aviation Regiment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Christopher Boitz)

A 433rd Airlift Wing Reserve Citizen Airmen medical team carries a simulated patient away from an idling Texas Army National Guard CH-47 Chinook during Operation Dust Storm Feb. 1, 2019 at Martindale Army Air Field, Texas.

A 433rd Airlift Wing Reserve Citizen Airmen medical team carries a simulated patient away from an idling Texas Army National Guard CH-47 Chinook during Operation Dust Storm Feb. 1, 2019 at Martindale Army Air Field, San Antonio. This exercise is a joint, total-force training event with active-duty and Reserve Air Force and Army National Guard personnel. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Kristian Carter)

An Army National Guardsman guides a simulated ambulance out of a CH-47 Chinook during Operation Dust Storm Feb. 1, 2019 at Martindale Army Air Field, Texas.

An Army National Guardsman guides a simulated ambulance out of a CH-47 Chinook during Operation Dust Storm Feb. 1, 2019 at Martindale Army Air Field, San Antonio. This exercise is a joint, total-force training event with active-duty and Reserve Air Force and Army National Guard personnel. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Kristian Carter)

Senior Airman Timothy Watson, left, and Staff Sgt. Jose Frias, aerial transportation technicians, 26th Aerial Port Squadron, prepare to secure a 2,000-pound piece of cargo to a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter flown by Soldiers from the Texas Army National Guard, Company C, 2-149 Aviation Regiment, during a sling load training event on Feb. 1, 2019, at Martindale Army Airfield, San Antonio, TX.

Senior Airman Timothy Watson, left, and Staff Sgt. Jose Frias, aerial transportation technicians, 26th Aerial Port Squadron, prepare to secure a 2,000-pound piece of cargo to a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter flown by Soldiers from the Texas Army National Guard, Company C, 2-149 Aviation Regiment, during a sling load training event on Feb. 1, 2019, at Martindale Army Airfield, San Antonio. The training event showcased a Total Force team of Active, Guard, and Reserve servicmembers, increased joint interoperability, and developed inter-service relationships. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Christopher Boitz)

Staff Sgt. Jose Frias, aerial transportation technician, 26th Aerial Port Squadron, secures a 2,000-pound piece of cargo to a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter flown by Soldiers from the Texas Army National Guard, Company C, 2-149 Aviation Regiment, during a sling load training event on Feb. 1, 2019, at Martindale Army Airfield, San Antonio, Texas.

Staff Sgt. Jose Frias, aerial transportation technician, 26th Aerial Port Squadron, secures a 2,000-pound piece of cargo to a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter flown by Soldiers from the Texas Army National Guard, Company C, 2-149 Aviation Regiment, during a sling load training event on Feb. 1, 2019, at Martindale Army Airfield, San Antonio. The training event showcased a Total Force team of Active, Guard, and Reserve servicmembers, increased joint interoperability, and developed inter-service relationships. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Christopher Boitz)

A ground crew prepares to hook a Humvee to a Texas Army National Guard CH-47 Chinook for airlifting during Operation Dust Storm at Martindale Army Air Field, Texas Feb. 1, 2019.

A ground crew prepares to hook a Humvee to a Texas Army National Guard CH-47 Chinook for airlifting during Operation Dust Storm at Martindale Army Air Field, San Antonio, Feb. 1, 2019. The helicopter and ground crews were participating in this joint, total-force training event with active-duty and Reserve Air Force and Army National Guard personnel. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Kristian Carter)

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas -- Operation Dust Storm blew into Martindale Army Air Field, Texas, Feb. 1, mixing together Reservists, active duty Airmen, Soldiers and local doctors to accomplish a complex medical and air delivery mission.

The 433rd Airlift Wing’s aerial porters, defenders, and medical personnel joined the 502nd Air Base Wing defenders for the training. The helicopters were supplied by the Texas Army National Guard. The doctors were from the San Antonio Military Medical Center.

This total-force training exercise was designed to provide real-life training to all parties.

“For JBSA, it may very well be the most complex airborne mission in recent memory” said Col. Kjäll Gopaul, Air Education and Training Command, who coordinated the event.

The exercise simulated litter and casualty transfers, cargo loading of equipment, personnel and vehicles with live aircraft.

“Ground teams trained to conduct their aviation-related tasks in a focused manner and not be distracted by the newness or disorientation of operating with military aircraft,” said Gopaul.

The events involved loading and unloading patients, equipment and vehicles from an Army airfield to an Air Force drop zone and back using a CH-47 Chinook helicopter and a UH-60 Blackhawk. Ground teams were in place at both locations to exercise the infiltrate and exfiltration procedures.

“For the aircrews, we increase the realism of training by providing train-as-we-fight ground teams,” Gopaul said.

Air transportation Airmen worked as ground crew building and rigging pallets to be transported by the helicopters.

“I’ve learned teamwork is essential, especially when it comes to these types of exercises,” said Staff Sgt. Raul Romero, 26th Aerial Port Squadron.

For the medics, the exercise gave them real-world aerial evacuation experience in a joint environment.

“This what we do in a deployed environment,” said Army Maj. Allyson Cochet, San Antonio Military Medical Center gastroenterologist. “Learning how to move (service members) quickly to the level of care they need is critical. That’s how we save them if they need care quickly.”