Manuel Smith: Air Force Reservists from the 16th Aerospace Medicine Flight, Langley Air Force Base, Virginia, utilized their yearly two-week tour by bringing manpower and desired skill sets to Belcourt, North Dakota.
Lt. Col. Leigh Starr: We began as a brand-new Air Force Reserve unit in the April/May time frame in 2008, so now that we have a full complement of specialties and AFSCs, this is our very first annual tour ever, so we'll always remember it as a really important part or a chapter in our history.
Manuel Smith: Several communities from across the US participate in Innovative Readiness Training, or the IRT program. The IRT program has a dual purpose. It creates a place for Air Force Reservists to receive timely, hands-on, real-world deployment training.
Senior Airman Jessica Preciado: We get here, we're only going to be here for two weeks, so we have to learn our areas, learn what our objective is and be ready to execute.
Tech. Sgt. Anthony Perasso: Being here at the Quentin Burdick Hospital has just been fantastic. The people are more than willing to bend over backwards to help you help them.
Manuel Smith: IRT also benefits the communities with added manpower and skill sets. This means more patients can be seen, medical staffs will have some relief and because the reservists salary and travel is from their annual tour, thousands of dollars are saved in that community's budget.
Dr. Monica Mayer: It's really been a pleasure to have the reservists come up here to assist us in trying to provide patient cares and services to a very high-needs group area.
Manuel Smith: The dual role of IRT helps both military and local communities through savings, manpower and deployment readiness training. Reporting from Belcourt, North Dakota, for Air Force Reserve Command, I'm Manuel Smith.