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178th members train with Army in Pacific

  • Published
  • By 2nd Lt. Lou Burton
  • 178th WIng

Ohio Air National Guard Airmen have traveled to the Island of Hawaii to participate in joint medical training at the U.S. Army Garrison Pohakuloa Training Area for two weeks as part of their annual training requirements.

The 33-person group, comprised of medical personnel from the 178th Medical Group and the 121st Medical Group are participating in Army lead training and conducting training for soldiers.

Additionally, the group is providing real-world medical assistance to sick call, and providing dental and optometry assessments to Soldiers in the field.
Airmen from the 178th Biomedical Engineering and Public Health section are assessing water conditions by testing drinking water and providing health recommendations for the training location that is currently at capacity of more than 2,300 servicemebers.

PTA's firing ranges allow units to conduct small-arms and crew-served weapons familiarization training and qualifications, as well as artillery and mortar live fire.

PTA has 23 training areas, with 22 live-fire and 4 non live-fire fixed ranges, 7 airborne drop zones and over 100 field artillery and mortar firing points.
The facility has no assigned full-time medical personnel.

“We have a very fluid schedule here,” said Chief Master Sgt. Brian Wear, 178th Wing Medical Group superintendent. “We are balancing the training being provided by our Airmen, the training we are receiving from the Army and the real-world mission of providing medical assistance to the servicemebers here.”

The PTA training facilities were originally built in the 1950’s and still bode original structures from the era. The physical environment is 6,800 miles above sea level and the landscape mirrors more of a desert terrain than a tropical island because of the volcanic rock that the instillation is built upon.

“This training is a great opportunity for our Airmen,” said Lt. Col William Brown, 178th Wing Medical Group deputy commander. “The training area is in an austere environment and providing real-world medical assistance over such a large terrain is something we just could not replicate elsewhere.”