Recent IRT Exercise Provides Free Health Care to Kentucky, Illinois and Missouri Communities

Recent IRT Exercise Provides Free Health Care to Kentucky, Illinois and Missouri Communities

Communities supporting the Delta Area Economic Opportunity Corporation Tri-State Innovative Readiness Training 2019 mission recently received much-needed, no-cost medical, dental and optometry services for their local residents, according a Defense Visual Information Distribution Service report.

From June 12-22, active duty, National Guard and reserve airmen, soldiers and sailors across the region participated in the joint service medical exercise which provides real-world training while also benefiting their community partners who welcome the cost-free services. Approximately 200 personnel tasked to the IRT will utilize the reserve training to ensure readiness and expand their proficiency for future military missions.

The IRT missions are DOD military training opportunities designed to provide hands-on, joint service experience as well as administering critical community services in health care, construction, transportation, and cybersecurity.

The recent DAEOC Tri-State IRT mission allowed medical personnel to broaden their expertise by providing services to the communities of Sikeston, Mo.; Barlow, Ky. and Cairo, Ill.

In Cairo, Ill., the community’s senior high and junior schools opened their doors June 14 to offer a no-cost community health clinic, according to a Military Health System report.

“This particular mission benefits us because it provides hands-on training as opposed to simulations,” said Air Force Capt. Lance Burgess, Cairo site officer in charge. “This training provides a wide expansion of patient population that we would not normally see even in the military or our civilian jobs.”

The IRT also creates an opportunity to build and develop military leadership skills.

“This is a good opportunity for us to be in a controlled environment where we can experiment with different leadership philosophies and methods,” said Air National Guard Tech. Sgt. Daniel Abeyta, a health care admin assigned to the 175th Medical Group, Baltimore, Md. “It is giving me hands-on experience of what would work if I were in a deployed environment.”

Throughout the 10-day mission, personnel assigned to the IRT received tremendous support from the citizens of the partnering communities.

“In order for us to successfully serve the community we have to be able to take care of our members and we couldn’t have done that without our community partners,” said Navy Cdr. Deborah Collins, commander Expeditionary Medical Facility Great Lakes One, Chicago. “Although the community is bringing us patients, we also need them to get the mission done.”

Photo by Maryland Air National Guard Staff Sgt. Kevin Schulze

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