News: Mass Casualty drill puts docs to the test at Koolendong
Story by Lance Cpl. Joey Holeman
NORTHERN TERRITORY, Australia - U.S. Navy Corpsman with 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment performed a mass casualty drill refining their combat lifesaving skills in austere conditions, August 16 at Bradshaw Field Training Area, Northern Territory, Australia, during exercise Koolendong 14.
While on patrol, corpsmen embedded with infantry units act as lifelines for their Marines, so they must perform under pressure and in stressful situations in order to save lives on the battlefield.
“Today we did a mass casualty drill with one of the companies to test out some of their medical capabilities,” said Chief Petty Officer Robert H. Davenport, a San Jose, California, native, and a senior medical department representative with the battalion. “(We wanted to) see where their skill sets are, how they have been doing and how far they have advanced since the start of training out here.”
The event presented junior corpsmen an opportunity to react in a simulated casualty drill, where they had to arrive on the scene, assess the situation and apply combat life saving techniques.
“The importance of giving other people the opportunity to train is to identify that nobody is more important than the next, and at any moment, any time, your number could be called,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Michael K. Phillips, a Jacksonville, Florida, native, and an independent duty corpsman with the battalion. “I am not any more expert than anyone, and at any given point the younger corpsmen would have to fill my shoes, and to instill that confidence in them that they are extremely competent pays dividends.”
The event took place during Exercise Koolendong 14, which is a bilateral training exercise within the Marine Rotational Force-Darwin focusing on increasing interoperability between U.S. Marines and Australian Defence service members.
“Being out here in Koolendong definitely steps it up from being back in the rear,” said Chief Davenport. “The corpsmen have been out here for over a week, they’ve been hitting the ranges hard and throwing this drill on top of them gives them more experiences to learn from.”
During the drill, corpsmen responded on the scene where simulated ordinance had exploded causing several simulated casualties. The corpsman then had to evaluate each Marine to figure out the extent of the injuries.
“Training in the middle of high operational tempo, tired Marines and sailors, hot weather that’s the best type of training because it’s realistic,” said Phillips. “When you train to the scenario you are most likley to be successful on the back end.”
The drill tested the abilities of the corpsmen, and amongst pressure and fatigue the corpsmen were able to accomplish their mission.
“I feel like today went absolutely amazing,” said Phillips. “I think the things that we learned were beneficial and we know how to effectively respond to mass casualties.”
Date Posted:08.20.2014 07:08
Location:BRADSHAW FIELD TRAINING AREA , NT, AU
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