RAF Brize Norton, England —
Preparation is an integral part of formulating a successful plan and accomplishing a successful mission.
When it comes to preparation, Staff Sgt. Nichole Bryant, an aeromedical evacuation technician with the 315th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron at Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina, knows how significant being ready for any situation can be.
Bryant not only works as an aeromedical evacuation technician with the Air Force Reserve, but is also a nursing supervisor for the Heart and Vascular Clinic at the University Of Florida.
How Bryant prepares for every situation and how she manages to be ready for any type of adversity that she may face in the workplace can literally mean life or death for a patient.
During July 10-14, Bryant traveled to RAF Brize Norton, England, with a group of 11 other 315 AES members to work on team cohesiveness, preparing for the task at hand, and to simulate what it would be like if they would ever to have to work with the members from another country, specifically the Royal Air Force Reserve in a combined mission setting.
“I really learned a ton from our experience working with the Royal Auxiliary Air Force,” said Bryant. “The valuable team building exercises that we performed with the RAF are phenomenal tools to help prepare everyone who was involved for situations where we will all have to work together in a combined operation.”
Reserve Citizen Airmen from the 315 AES and members of the Royal Air Force Reserve worked together during the combined training at RAF Brize Norton.
There they learned different medical methods and procedures each unit used, took leadership courses, and participated in team building exercises with members from both units to help achieve a different perspective.
There was a clear feeling of comradery being built between members of the 315 AES and the Royal Air Force Reserve at Brize Norton and Bryant pointed out that the training that took place over several days could be taken back home and the same methods can be implemented into both the civilian and military world.
“Having a ‘family feel’ between the units makes working in the field so much easier,” said Bryant. “Opening up new communication lines and networking prior to going downfield gives everyone a sense of comfort and confidence.”
Bryant recognized that combined training events like this gives her the opportunity to develop new methods to become a better team player.
Whether in a hospital with patients or on a C-17 Globemaster III, Bryant learned new ways to prepare for possible adversities she may face.
“With the Reserve and being a nurse both ever changing, you have to learn to be flexible and how to communicate well,” said Bryant.
Learning how to work as a team player and build confidence at the same time, helps you feel more prepared for any type of task in the civilian world or in the military, said Bryant.
Being tasked with the life of another human being can put a lot of stress on an individual and for Bryant, that is no different.
During the combined training exercise, Bryant, along with the other members of the 315 AES learned new ways to deal with stress and how to cope with adversities to help prepare for any type of situation they may find themselves in.
“Both jobs can be nerve racking and can take a toll mentally and physically,” said Bryant. “Learning ways to stay positive and how to implement coping mechanisms from other members of different units we train with really gives me new perspectives and ways to combat stress in the work place.”
One of Bryant’s fellow aeromedical evacuation technicians, Tech. Sgt. Maria Wesloh, 315 AES, recognized that Bryant had learned from all the training she is accomplished and has a great track record of success and being prepared.
“Bryant always wants to get things done and get them done the right way,” said Wesloh. “She’s always prepared for whatever task she faces.”
For Bryant, the training over the past five days was a chance for her to grow and further sharpen her skills as a medical provider in the civilian and military world.
“I’m always very grateful for opportunities like this,” said Bryant. “It’s really given me the ability to grow in the profession and correctly prepare for situations I know I will have to face in the future.”