AMN breathes new life into 82nd MDG medics

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Madeleine E. Remillard, 82nd Training Wing Public Affairs

SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE, Texas – Airmen are trained to focus on the task at hand from the moment they enter the Air Force at basic training.


Technical and on-the-job training lead to 3- and 5-level skill sets, which leads to more responsibilities.

While all of these tasks are worthwhile and necessary for the progression of an Airman’s career, day-to-day operations can become mundane and cause Airmen to forget how important their work truly is.

Master Sgt. Luis Caracosa, 82nd Medical Group flight chief of resource management and the commander support staff, recognized that Airmen didn’t fully understand how their specific function fit into the overall mission of Sheppard AFB and wanted to make a change. The Airman Mission Network became the answer.


“The Airman Mission Network is really just a name for getting our medics out of the clinic and into different parts of the base,” he said. “I saw a gap in Airmen not knowing the mission and I knew they needed some perspective.”


Caracosa said a team began working on a schedule to tour different places on base so medics could experience what other career fields are doing, and see how the care they provide for those people impact the mission.


On May 8, 2019, 12 medics from the 82nd MDG began their immersion into the different missions on Sheppard with a visit to the 362nd Training Squadron’s crew chief apprentice course. They were given a tour of the hangar and jumped into the pilot’s seat of an F-16 to learn about its functions.

While this was an interesting experience for the medics, it also helped them gain a broader knowledge and perspective on the physical tolls maintenance jobs can take on an Airman.

Master Sgt. Derek Sweat, 82nd MDG Student Health Clinic flight chief, said he has also seen the need for a program such as the AMN and is thrilled to be a part of it.

“In the medical group, you can get tunnel vision of taking vitals and seeing patient after patient,” he said. “We are the leading, busiest trainee health clinic, seeing 1,200 trainees come through with issues in March alone. So for all of us to be able to get out of that for a little while and see why these Airmen are coming to us, what they do for our Air Force and what we do for them, is huge. This could be a once-in-a-career type of event.”

Kimberly Bearden, 82nd MDG licensed vocational nurse, agreed that visiting the 362nd TRS was a unique opportunity for her.

“I’ve been working on this base for 12 years and I’ve never been to a hangar or experienced anything like this,” she said. “I am thrilled to get to join in today.”

Although this has been the only event for the Airman Mission Network so far, the medics agreed that is was a huge success.

Major Stephanie Garcia, flight commander of the trainee health clinic, said a common tendency for some Airmen is to get into a rut and not realize the important role they play in the big-picture mission.


“This allows medics the opportunity to be even more aware of what the work they’re doing and how the trainees’ conditions affect them. I believe this came at the perfect time for many of them in their careers,” she said. “Even if the Airman Mission Network only relights a fire for a few of them, it has completed its mission.”