News: Exercise, exercise, exercise! MASCAL tests BAF responders
Story by Tech. Sgt. Rob Hazelett
BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan - A mass casualty exercise coordinated by the 455th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron installation emergency management office in conjunction with Craig Joint Theater Hospital was held here Sept. 7, 2013.
At least six response agencies and a minimum of 12 support agencies were involved in the exercise. which tested the security forces, hospital staff and firefighters as they responded to a simulated emergency.
“The MASCAL exercise is to prepare the base for a real world event, and to hone and sharpen the individual skills of each entity, and the combined efforts as we will have to work as a team to accomplish the mission,” said Master Sgt. William Catton, 455 ECES installation emergency manager, who is an 18-year military veteran and has served 10 of those years in the Air Force.
The MASCAL provided opportunities to test communication between responders and emergency providers. It also gave the responders a chance to execute the procedures they’ve trained and planned for more than two months, as they prepared for this event.
“The training is as realistic as you can get without having real victims, everything else is how it would work if this were a real event. We do that so we follow the train the way you fight motto,” said Catton, deployed from the 189th Airlift Wing Arkansas Air National Guard Base, Jacksonville, Ark., and a native of Lonoke, Ark.
Regular MASCAL exercises at Bagram train service members and keep them prepared to handle unexpected incidents and other potential disasters, and furthermore enables them to take those skills to their home units.