Lt. Col. Keith Reed who is the commander of the 137 Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron for the Oklahoma Air National Guard, said the significance of integrating troops before deployment cannot be stressed enough.
“The big thing to understand about what we're doing is that it's good to be integrated. Typically we integrate in deployment after members are trained in specific units with different aircrafts for each unit,” Reed said.
“There was no urgent need to do this now but we are always looking to strengthen our capabilities. Our goal here is to strengthen our capabilities of providing better service to those who are wounded,” he said.
Wooden said that the training program not only familiarizes troops with different aircraft, but serves as a great networking opportunity as well since troops from across the nation participated in the training program on Saturday.
“I'm 80-percent sure these people will see each other in the next year. When these folks deploy, they'll deploy as a unit.”