Members of the 185th during training. (photo by Vince Degroot, ING)

A group of clinicians from Sioux City’s Air National Guard 185th refueling wing has been training together at the Air National Guard Combat Readiness Training Center in Savannah, Georgia this past week.

First Lieutenant Amber Franco says it’s the first time since 2019 that the large group from the 185th medical group has been able to get together to knock out a good portion of their annual training requirements.

“We like to get our skills in so when you are actually doing it real world you know what to do,” she explains. The pandemic, along with worldwide deployments and financial constraints has kept the Iowa Air National Guard clinicians from training together as a group for more than three years.

The training in Georgia provided a variety of scenarios.”It is one of our requirements that we have an annual mass casualty and to have a public health scenario,” Franco says. “So we did one with the I-G. We’re also incorporating our public health scenario and our mass casualty which is a little different for us. So that’s what we have to accomplish and they need most of the med group participants. So we have that within this trip.”

During the past few years, 185th clinicians have volunteered for various duties like helping at state covid-19 testing centers. Others have recently deployed to the Middle East. The 185th members also helped with resettlement efforts after the U-S pullout from Afghanistan earlier this year.

(By Woody Gottburg, KSCJ, Sioux City)