Advancing aeromedical evacuation capabilities in Ghana through US-Ghanaian partnership

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Linda Jones
  • USAFE-AFAFRICA Command Surgeon Office

GHANA, Africa -- The U.S. Air Forces in Europe - Air Forces Africa Command Surgeon’s Office sent a Global Health Engagements team to Accra, Ghana for a train-the-trainer event in early May 2024. 

The event was facilitated by the Defense Institute for Medical Operations (DIMO) and was a key step for the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) as they pursue United Nations validation in Aeromedical Evacuation Team (AMET) capabilities. Ghana deploys the highest percentage of troops in support of U.N. peacekeeping operations in South Sudan; therefore, achieving a U.N. validation in AMET is paramount. This not only builds capacity within the GAF, but also fosters regional partnership and interoperability. 

“This phase of the AMET program is integral to developing an enduring capability that can provide Ghana and the U.N. with well-trained medical evacuation personnel dedicated to saving lives throughout Africa,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Kevin Webb, AMET course director and lead DIMO instructor. "It has been an honor to watch the GAF teach their first iteration of the sustainment course. Their dedication and commitment to ensuring they are building a program to the highest standards has been humbling to watch.” 

During this train-the-trainer event, 10 top-tier GAF students were identified to become AMET instructors. These medical personnel led a class of 23 students in a capstone exercise, evaluating students’ ability to safely and effectively triage, load and unload patients from both fixed and rotary-wing aircrafts.  

“The aeromedical evacuation training offered by the U.S. Air Force is a great program,” said GAF Lt. Col. Eunice Apraku-Boadu, lead instructor for the GAF. "It couldn’t have come to us at a more opportune time than now, when our efforts to standardize our aeromedical system are still young and in need of more training and resources. We have been enabled to appreciate the concepts and own them; we have also been empowered to adapt these concepts to create a system that works for us and has potential to evolve positively. Our appreciation is endless, and we look forward to greater collaboration moving forward.” 

Ghana is the third African partner nation to complete AMET training through the USAFE-AFAFRICA SG program.  

“Building AMET capability to support peacekeeping operations in Africa is a testament to the dedication of the GAF,” said U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Larry Russian, AMET program manager. “It demonstrates their pursuit of regional stability and international presence through the UN.”  

AMET is a program that will strengthen key alliances, enhance interoperable air evacuation maneuvers, and ultimately save more lives.