News: Division Marines on Okinawa practice combat casualty evacuations
Story by Lance Cpl. Tyler Hlavac
By Lance Cpl. Tyler Hlavac
III Marine Expeditionary Force Public Affairs
CENTRAL TRAINING AREA, OKINAWA, Japan — The training was part of Exercise Caltrop 2008. Caltrop is an annual division-wide exercise held to promote combat skills.
During the evacuation training, the Marines placed simulated wounded Marines onto stretchers and carried them to an extraction point where they were loaded onto helicopters and transported to a medical treatment facility.
"The training here was definitely great," said Lance Cpl. Adam Stanley, a motor transportation operator with Headquarters Co. "I learned about calling in a bird (helicopter) and how to properly transport a casualty. This was a good opportunity as it is often difficult arranging to train with actual birds and pilots. The training gave me a rush and helped prepare me for the real thing."
The mock casualty evacuation was the practical application of training the Marines had received during earlier classes that included tactical combat casualty care (first aid) and radio operation.
The training was essential for the Marines as they have a good chance of being deployed to a combat zone where minutes and seconds can be the difference between life and death, according to Staff Sgt. Benjamin Richard, the company gunnery sergeant of Headquarters Co.
"The purpose of the training was for the Marines to practice and become confident about performing a combat casualty evacuation," he said. "This is something I had to do in Iraq, and if Marines are well trained, they can save valuable time. This training is absolutely essential and will help save lives."
Stanley said, the training was very important and is something all Marines should know how to do.