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Marines look to adopt Team 432 HPT program

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Emerson Nuñez
  • 432nd Wing/432nd Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

Leadership from Head Quarters Marine Corps, Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, worked with Airmen from the 25th Attack Group’s Human Performance Team members to gain an understanding on the HPT and see how they can implement the program into the U.S. Marine Corps, at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, March 30, 2022.

The HPT is a specialized group made up of medical technicians, military family life counselors, chaplains, and psychologists, which are embedded in MQ-9 units to provide care for members of the unit and ensuring the Airmen at the tip of the spear stay sharp to fly, fight and win.

The 432d Wing/432d Air Expeditionary Wing implemented the HPT three years ago and has seen positive results ever since then. Due to the sensitive nature of the Remotely Piloted Aircraft mission, the HPT is cleared to the top secret and sensitive information levels to allow them access to Airmen's work centers. This way, they’re allowed greater day-to-day availability to help those in need and are able to keep pilots and sensor operators flying missions without missing a beat.

Normally reserved for special operations commands, human performance teams focus on helping Airmen win today's fight while they prepare for tomorrow through physical, social, spiritual, intellectual and emotional support.

“This is great to see how well this is working for the unit,” said USMC Col. Kevin Digman, Chief of Staff, Marine and Family Programs Division.  “The Air Force is doing something right and embedded professionals in units like this that provide specialized care would be excellent for the Marines.”

“This program brought a big change to the units and we can see the benefits from the work we do by providing holistic and preventative care for members, while also saving man-hours by being able to set members up with medical appointments directly and streamlining the process for them” said Maj. Thompson, 25th ATKG HPT psychologist. “We want to take care of our members and give them the best care possible with a team they are familiar with and comfortable coming to for any type of help, because of that, they know we have their six.”

Considering the demands facing the USMC combat units, Digman recognized the need for a program to enhance the care available for Marines.

Digman said he had already been aware of the HPT in the Air Force and after seeing and learning the intricate details on how the program works, he can now make a recommendation to Marine HQ to bring this Air Force program to the USMC and U.S. Navy because the Navy provides all medical care for the USMC. 

The HPT program ensures the human weapon system is taken care of and allows for a variety of care to be provided to aircrew without impacting operations to flying missions or local medical services. The success of the program shows how the Air Force can accelerate change not only in itself, but other services as well.