CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. --
Air Force Medical Service leadership paid a multi-day visit to Cannon Air Force Base, Aug. 7-9, 2018.
U.S. Air Force Surgeon General Lt. Gen. Dorothy A. Hogg and the Medical Enlisted Force and Enlisted Chief, Chief Master Sgt. George Cum timed their visit to overlap with the base’s annual Emergency Medical Technician Rodeo to obtain a close look at the skill-building competition.
During her opening remarks, Hogg reminded the assembled medics of the value of a training exercise like the EMT Rodeo.
“I’m so excited to be here today because this is exactly why we exist,” said Hogg. “Our number one job is readiness. I want to be 100 percent focused on building ready medics to support the Air Force mission.”
After the ceremony, the duo met with multiple agencies during their visit which included hosting an all-call. Hogg answered questions about the Defense Health Agency assuming administration of military treatment facilities and how the Air Force can work closely with sister services during the transition, and shared her vision of what it means to be a ‘disruptive innovator.’
“Now that we are in this time of big change, we need to question what we are doing and why we are doing it,” Hogg explained. “And if we can do it better, funnel that up to your leadership. We need to prepare for today's fight, as well as tomorrow's."
The following day, Hogg and Cum received a true Cannon experience by catching a ride on a CV-22 Osprey.
The team flew straight to Melrose Air Force Range, an air-to-ground training site located 25 miles west of Cannon spanning approximately 70,000 acres, where additional scenarios of the EMT Rodeo were taking place. They arrived during the middle of the second day of competition to witness numerous EMT teams performing life-saving medical skills in high-stress environments.
The experience was exactly what the Surgeon General had hoped for.
“This is the right type of training for our medics,” said Hogg. “We want them to be put in a difficult position where they have to improvise, so when the time comes to get out there and do it for real, they will have had this experience.”