Technical School

///Technical School
Technical School 2017-05-21T03:01:25+00:00

Technical School

In 1919, the Army Surgeon General wrote a letter to the Quartermaster General stating a need to have a dedicated maintenance depot for surgical instruments and other medical equipment. In 1922, a depot was established at Jefferson Barracks, St Louis, Missouri. Maintenance was provided by plant maintenance and signal personnel, as well as equipment manufacturers. Twenty years later, the Army established the Medical Equipment Repairer occupation and began planning for a dedicated training school at Jefferson Barracks. In 1946, the first class started a 3-month training program. Including both Army and Navy students, these technicians would go in to serve at maintenance Depots Army-wide.

As the Air Force stood up, it started sending students to the Army school. By 1955, the Air Force had determined a need to shift from a depot-level maintenance operation to that of an in-house model to help reduce contract costs. The Air Force determined Gunter AFB, Alabama would serve as the site of the Medical Equipment Repair Specialist school. In 1957, the first class arrived for a 3-month school. Taught by instructors who graduated from the original Army school, these Airmen built the foundation for today’s BMET career field.

In 1966, the school moved to Sheppard AFB, Texas. Electronic fundamentals, including soldering, took place in a separate building with other like career fields. Once complete, students then attended the actual BMET school, a large building added to an original missile bay (subsequently used as a trainee break area) housing multiple enlisted medical training programs. The entire program lasted approximately 44 weeks.

Operations continued there virtually unchanged through 1998, with the obvious occasional upgrades to equipment and curriculum. At that time, a new school was constructed adjacent to the original to house the new DoD school. The school incorporated electronics fundamentals into the actual BMET curriculum. In addition, the basic curriculum was reduced from 44 to 41 weeks. The new school was driven by a DoD initiative to combine Air Force, Army and Navy biomedical equipment technical schools into one central location with one overarching curriculum. As such, it provided a test bed for combined training and laid the foundation for the DoD to expand the initiative. In addition, it opened its doors to international students. The program currently hosts 1 to 2 international students per year.

Subsequently in August 2010, the school was relocated to Fort Sam Houston, Texas as part of the Medical Education & Training Campus (METC), a state-of-the-art facility designed to combine the vast majority of medical specialty training across the DoD on one campus as part of the US Congress’ 2005 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) plan.

The current curriculum encompasses a 41-week basic technical training cycle, as well as several targeted advanced courses. As of 2011, all Airmen go through the Basic Course, then are sent to their first duty stations. Some return back for various advanced courses, based on local need and course availability. This differs from the Navy, which sends their students through the entire basic and first five courses of the advanced curriculum all at once, encompassing nearly 18 months of training.

Prior to starting the Basic BMET program, Air Force trainees must complete a 2-day Expeditionary Medical Readiness Course (EMRC). Once complete, BMET trainees must complete 205 academic days of the Basic BMET program. It includes the following courses (17 academic days each):

CourseTitle
101Electronic Principles I
102Electronic Principles II
103Troubleshooting Principles
104Introduction to Biomedical Equipment
105Physiological Monitoring Equipment
106Medical Support Equipment
107Dental and Sterilizer Equipment
108Surgical Equipment
109Diagnostic Imaging I
110Diagnostic Imaging II
111Information Technology and Field Support Equipment
112AUS Army Specific - Field Support Training
112FUS Air Force Specific
112NUS Navy Specific

While Navy BMET trainees continue through the first five advanced courses as part of their Service’s Basic BMET program, both Air Force and Army trainees may complete any of these courses later on in their respective careers. In addition, the program recently signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to open advanced courses to VA BMETs on a space available basis, with the VA paying all costs. The current advanced courses include:

CourseTitleDays
J3AZR4A271 08BAAdvanced Field Medical Support Systems10
J8AZR4A271 00JARadiographic/Fluoroscopic Imaging Systems1 15
J8AZR4A271 00LAUltrasound Imaging Systems17
J8AZR4A271 00KAMammography Imaging Systems18
J8AZR4A271 00BAAdvanced Sterilization Systems4
J8AZR4A271 00AAComputer Based Medical Systems120
J8AZR4A271 00OAComputed Tomography210
J8AZR4A271 00FATelemedicine115
J8AZR4A271 00MARadiographic Acceptance Procedures312
J8AZR4A271 00NABiomedical Equipment Maintenance Management44

NOTES:

  1. Part of Navy Basic Program
  2. Stood up FY12
  3. Revised FY12
  4. Currently under revision

The Medical Equipment Repair Specialist Course began under the overarching leadership of Lt Col Wehrman. A Course Supervisor actually managed day-to-day course operations.

YearCourse Supervisor
1957 - 19XXMaj Bernal
19XX - 19XX

Over the years the BMET school has been led by various individuals. Historically, the Air Force BMET school was led by a Medical Service Corps officer:

PERIODNAMETITLE
197X - 197XMaj Jacob TamseCourse Supervisor
197X - 197XCapt Ronald CressyCourse Supervisor
197X - 197XMaj Philip GainerCourse Supervisor
1982 - 1989Capt George DavisCourse Supervisor
1989 - 1992Maj Michael MyattCourse Supervisor
1992 - 1995Capt Joseph MirrowCourse Supervisor
1995 - 1998Capt Chris WeaverCourse Supervisor
1998 - 1999Capt John ClarkCourse Supervisor
1999 - 1999Capt Tom StewartCourse Supervisor

In 1999, the consolidated school opened at Sheppard. Leadership included a Program Director, rotating by Service every three years, and a Service Lead from each Service:

YearProgram DirectorArmy Program DirectorNavy Program DirectorAir Force Program Director
1999CW4 Michael PappasCW2 Dave AttardHMC Chris AtamianSMSgt William Fogle
2000CW5 PappasCW2 AttardHMCS Mark TowleSMSgt Fogle
2001CW5 PappasHMCS TowleSMSgt Fogle
2002CW5 PappasSMSgt Fogle1
CMSgt Rickard Stanley
2003Lt Baus (USN)CMSgt Stanley
2004Lt Baus (USN)CW2 MarquartHMCS McFarlandCMSgt Stanley2
CMSgt Eric Thompson
2005Lt Baus (USN)CW2 MarquartHMCS McFarlandCMSgt Thompson
2006Lt Baus (USN)CW2 Marquart
SGM Rangel
HMCS McFarlandCMSgt Thompson (May '06)
CMSgt Eric Steinberg (June '06)
2007Maj Woolsey (USAF)SGM RangelCMSgt Steinberg
2008Maj Woolsey (USAF)SGM RangelCMSgt Steinberg
2009Maj Woolsey (USAF)SGM AndersonCMSgt Steinberg
2010Maj Woolsey (USAF)SGM AndersonCMSgt Steinberg3

NOTES:

  1. Led during initial standup of consolidated DOD BMET Course at Sheppard AFB, TX. PCSed to Lackland AFB, TX.
  2. Last assignment; retired.
  3. Last assignment; retired at Sheppard after BMET program migrated to Ft Sam Houston, TX.

In 2010, the BMET Training Program transitioned to METC. Both its curriculum and leadership organization did not change:

YearProgram DirectorArmy Service LeadNavy Service LeadAir Force Service Lead
2010CW3 Faaruwq MuhammadMSG Faouzi MannaiHMC Art NavarretteSMSgt Tony Greer
2011CW3 MuhammadMSG MannaiHMC NavarretteSMSgt Greer (Jun '10)1
CMSgt Chuck Frizzell (Jul '11)
2012CW4 MuhammadMSG MannaiHMC Navarrette (May '12)
HMC Cody Carter (Jun '12)
CMSgt Frizzell
2013CW4 Muhammad (Jul '13)
Capt Erin Roberts (USAF) (Aug '13)
CW3 Eliud Batista (Dec '13)
MSG MannaiHMCS CarterCMSgt Frizzell
2014CW3 Batista (Jul `14)
CW4 Michael Hayes (Jul '14)
MSG Mannai (Jul '14)
MSG Heath Brunson (Jul '14)
HMCS Carter (Dec '14)CMSgt Frizzell (Jun '14)
SMSgt Justin Helin (Jun '14)
2015CW4 HayesMSG BrunsonHMC WIlliam Ratcliffe (Jan '15)
HMC Chris Newcomer (projected Nov '15)
SMSgt Helin (Jun '15)
SMSgt Scott Gardner (Jun '15)

NOTES:

  1. Led during initial standup of METC BMET Course at Fort Sam Houston, TX. Last assignment; retired.

(Updated 2013-08-02)