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A little stroll through a lot of jungle

U.S. Air Force Airmen assigned to the 18th Medical Group navigate a jungle as part of the Preventative Aerospace Medicine Convention April 21, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. Correctly and safely navigating potentially dangerous terrain was one of the focal points of the PAMACON. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Quay Drawdy)

U.S. Air Force Airmen assigned to the 18th Medical Group navigate a jungle as part of the Preventative Aerospace Medicine Convention April 21, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. Correctly and safely navigating potentially dangerous terrain was one of the focal points of the PAMACON. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Quay Drawdy)

U.S. Air Force Airmen assigned to the 18th Medical Group navigate through tall grass during a navigation exercise during the Preventative Aerospace Medicine Convention April 21, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. Airmen from public health, bioenvironmental, flight medicine and other units within the 18th MDG led hands-on training activities in order to better prepare and understand the requirements when establishing and supporting an operational site in a deployed environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Quay Drawdy)

U.S. Air Force Airmen assigned to the 18th Medical Group navigate through tall grass during a navigation exercise during the Preventative Aerospace Medicine Convention April 21, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. Airmen from public health, bioenvironmental, flight medicine and other units within the 18th MDG led hands-on training activities in order to better prepare and understand the requirements when establishing and supporting an operational site in a deployed environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Quay Drawdy)

U.S. Air Force Airmen assigned to the 18th Medical Group navigate a jungle as part of the Preventative Aerospace Medicine Convention April 21, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. The PAMACON was designed to test the knowledge and capabilities of the 18th MDG regarding the setup and maintenance requirements for deployed locations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Quay Drawdy)

U.S. Air Force Airmen assigned to the 18th Medical Group navigate a jungle as part of the Preventative Aerospace Medicine Convention April 21, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. The PAMACON was designed to test the knowledge and capabilities of the 18th MDG regarding the setup and maintenance requirements for deployed locations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Quay Drawdy)

U.S. Air Force Airmen assigned to the 18th Medical Group and 18th Operations Support Squadron navigate a jungle as part of an exercise during the Preventative Aerospace Medicine Convention April 21, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. Members of the 18th OSS survival, evasion, resistance and escape flight assist the PAMACON by providing training on how to safely navigate with maps and compasses.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Quay Drawdy)

U.S. Air Force Airmen assigned to the 18th Medical Group and 18th Operations Support Squadron navigate a jungle as part of an exercise during the Preventative Aerospace Medicine Convention April 21, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. Members of the 18th OSS survival, evasion, resistance and escape flight assist the PAMACON by providing training on how to safely navigate with maps and compasses. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Quay Drawdy)

KADENA AIR BASE, Japan --

Members of the 18th Medical Group participated in the Preventative Aerospace Medicine Convention April 21, 2017, here.

The PAMACON is a series of exercises focusing on potential actions Airmen of the 18th MDG would take to safely select a location for a new deployed base.

Airmen broke into teams before cycling through training and briefings targeting specific units and their missions. The information each unit provides ranges from countering local pests, selecting a new deployment site and where to place buildings, such as dining facilities and latrines.

“Selecting a location includes a wide variety of limiting factors,” said Senior Airman Isiah Fleming, 18th MDG bioenvironmental technician.  “A water source has to be able to produce roughly 20 gallons of fresh water per person, per day. This is just one environmental factor that can determine whether or not a base can be supported or how many individuals can safely stay there at a time.”

In addition to briefings and demonstrations from bioenvironmental and public health, Airmen learned potentially life-saving land navigation.

“Being able to find your way around is incredibly important,” said Staff Sgt. Caleb Williams, 18th Operations Support Squadron survival, evasion, resistance and escape specialist. “Being able to navigate using a map and compass as well as maintaining the right pace count, can mean the difference between finding your way and being completely lost.”

More than 50 Airmen from the 18th MDG participated in PAMACON. Each unit provided critical, medically relevant, training and individuals learned valuable skills that have the potential to save lives and maintain the quality of health in deployed locations.

“Things around the world can change incredibly quickly,” said Col. John Cotton, 18th Aerospace Medicine Squadron commander. “The skills we practice don’t just happen and we are very fortunate to have professionals who can provide this training to us.”