For the MEDLITE 12 exercise, members of the North Carolina Air National Guard’s 145th Airlift Wing in Charlotte have been at Thebephatswa AB, Botswana, providing hands-on training to their Botswana Defense Force counterparts in aeromedical evacuation operations. Like the North Carolina Air Guardsmen, the Botswanans operate C-130s. Members of Charlotte’s 156th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron are sharing knowledge about evacuation procedures and how to configure C-130s for AE through classroom instruction and simulated emergencies. The Botswanans have a high degree of professionalism, but they are still obtaining the necessary medical equipment to perform the AE mission, according to an Aug. 13 Air Forces Africa release. “I have no doubts that if the BDF gets the funding for the [aeromedical] equipment, they will do a phenomenal job,” said Maj. Chuck Scronce, a 156th AES flight nurse. MEDLITE 12 began on Aug. 6 and concludes with a mass-casualty exercise on Aug. 14. (Thebephatswa report by TSgt. Chad Thompson)
The Air Force overall reduced its size by 120 aircraft in fiscal year 2021, but kept about the same number of fighter, bomber and attack aircraft, according to data supplied by the service. The F-35 fleet saw the biggest increase while the B-1B bomber fleet saw the largest decline.