Athletic trainers are being added to Basic Military Training in an experiment to better prevent and treat injuries among trainees. “By having athletic trainers who understand the mission and who have built rapport with the trainees, high-risk trainees can be identified and injuries treated early,” 59th Medical Wing doctor Capt. Nathaniel Nye said in a JBSA-Lackland, Texas, release. BMT injuries cost the Air Force approximately $35 million each year and “even a 10 percent reduction in injuries … would be a significant success,” he added. The 59th MDW worked with a research hospital to secure grant money for a 30-month trial embedding two athletic trainers with the 323rd Training Squadron at Lackland. Several trainers are also integrating with Lackland’s 342nd TRS and 343rd TRS, which conduct high intensity physical training for battlefield airmen. If the trial proves successful, the team hopes to add athletic trainers to each of BMT’s training squadrons.
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.