HomeNewsArticle Display

130th Airlift Wing Airmen provide aeromedical mission expertise on newest Air Force refueler

AMC, 167AW, KC46A

Staff Sgt. Loy Nelson, right, 167th AES aeromedical evacuation technician, and Lt. Col. Charles Mertz, 167th AES chief nurse, pose in front of KC-46A Pegasus during a recent visit to McConnell Air Force Base, KS. 167th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron based at McLaughlin Air National Guard Base, Charleston, West Virginia, recently traveled to McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas, to offer expertise and feedback on outfitting the KC-46A for the aeromedical evacuation mission.

McConnell Air Force Base, KS --

Two members of the 130th Airlift Wing’s 167th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron based at McLaughlin Air National Guard Base, Charleston, West Virginia, recently traveled to McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas, to offer expertise and feedback on outfitting the KC-46A Pegasus for the aeromedical evacuation mission.

The KC-46A is the Air Force’s newest refueler that is also able to provide passenger and medical transport.

Lt. Col. Charles Mertz, 167th AES chief nurse, and Staff Sgt. Loy Nelson, 167th AES aeromedical evacuation technician, represented the 130th AW alongside a small contingent of aeromedical career field Airmen from across the Total Force. The team got a first-hand opportunity to work through the outfitting of the aircraft with other aircrew members and offered expert advice that may be implemented in future missions for the KC-46A.

For Mertz, it was the opportunity of a lifetime.

“It’s unique,” Mertz said, “I get to help with policy and procedure, and I get to go back and teach our fellow unit members what works and what challenges that we may have on this new airframe.”

Nelson, who entered the career field in 2018, saw it as an opportunity to gain valuable experience.

“Every day is a learning curve [on the new aircraft],” Nelson said. “Getting to learn a new aircraft and being able to go back with as much knowledge that I have in my head and having the ability to inform people now will certainly be instrumental as we train for future missions in this airframe.”

Aeromedical personnel are trained to perform medical missions on C-130, C-17, and KC-135 aircraft, among others, but are able to perform their mission on any military aircraft that carries passengers.

For Mertz, the biggest takeaway was to think outside of the box and use his valuable experience and expertise to provide solutions to enhance the future of aeromedical missions in the U.S. Air Force.

“You have to solve problems and help develop new ways to solve problems that others have not thought about,” said Mertz. “You have to go with an open mind and realize that what worked in the past might not work for this new aircraft and come up with ways to solve the problem to get the mission done.”

Nelson appreciated the opportunity to provide a voice in the process along with putting his recent training into use.

“With every job, you can become complacent and things become second nature,” Nelson explained. “When you go to a new aircraft and have to explain something to someone who doesn’t know your career field or what you need for your job to run it successfully, for me to be able to think back and go through the checklist and the requirements that we need to get off the ground, it was great to have a voice in that.”

Additional aeromedical feedback sessions and training missions will take place in the future, which both Mertz and Nelson hope they can take part in. For both Airmen, the trip proved to be a once-in-a-career experience that afforded them an opportunity to provide valuable feedback for the U.S. Air Force and the aeromedical mission as a whole.

USAF Comments Policy
If you wish to comment, use the text box below. AF reserves the right to modify this policy at any time.

This is a moderated forum. That means all comments will be reviewed before posting. In addition, we expect that participants will treat each other, as well as our agency and our employees, with respect. We will not post comments that contain abusive or vulgar language, spam, hate speech, personal attacks, violate EEO policy, are offensive to other or similar content. We will not post comments that are spam, are clearly "off topic", promote services or products, infringe copyright protected material, or contain any links that don't contribute to the discussion. Comments that make unsupported accusations will also not be posted. The AF and the AF alone will make a determination as to which comments will be posted. Any references to commercial entities, products, services, or other non-governmental organizations or individuals that remain on the site are provided solely for the information of individuals using this page. These references are not intended to reflect the opinion of the AF, DoD, the United States, or its officers or employees concerning the significance, priority, or importance to be given the referenced entity, product, service, or organization. Such references are not an official or personal endorsement of any product, person, or service, and may not be quoted or reproduced for the purpose of stating or implying AF endorsement or approval of any product, person, or service.

Any comments that report criminal activity including: suicidal behaviour or sexual assault will be reported to appropriate authorities including OSI. This forum is not:

  • This forum is not to be used to report criminal activity. If you have information for law enforcement, please contact OSI or your local police agency.
  • Do not submit unsolicited proposals, or other business ideas or inquiries to this forum. This site is not to be used for contracting or commercial business.
  • This forum may not be used for the submission of any claim, demand, informal or formal complaint, or any other form of legal and/or administrative notice or process, or for the exhaustion of any legal and/or administrative remedy.

AF does not guarantee or warrant that any information posted by individuals on this forum is correct, and disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any such information. AF may not be able to verify, does not warrant or guarantee, and assumes no liability for anything posted on this website by any other person. AF does not endorse, support or otherwise promote any private or commercial entity or the information, products or services contained on those websites that may be reached through links on our website.

Members of the media are asked to send questions to the public affairs through their normal channels and to refrain from submitting questions here as comments. Reporter questions will not be posted. We recognize that the Web is a 24/7 medium, and your comments are welcome at any time. However, given the need to manage federal resources, moderating and posting of comments will occur during regular business hours Monday through Friday. Comments submitted after hours or on weekends will be read and posted as early as possible; in most cases, this means the next business day.

For the benefit of robust discussion, we ask that comments remain "on-topic." This means that comments will be posted only as it relates to the topic that is being discussed within the blog post. The views expressed on the site by non-federal commentators do not necessarily reflect the official views of the AF or the Federal Government.

To protect your own privacy and the privacy of others, please do not include personally identifiable information, such as name, Social Security number, DoD ID number, OSI Case number, phone numbers or email addresses in the body of your comment. If you do voluntarily include personally identifiable information in your comment, such as your name, that comment may or may not be posted on the page. If your comment is posted, your name will not be redacted or removed. In no circumstances will comments be posted that contain Social Security numbers, DoD ID numbers, OSI case numbers, addresses, email address or phone numbers. The default for the posting of comments is "anonymous", but if you opt not to, any information, including your login name, may be displayed on our site.

Thank you for taking the time to read this comment policy. We encourage your participation in our discussion and look forward to an active exchange of ideas.