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    Pacific Prime Delivers Emergency Medical Supplies During Exercise Forager 21

    Pacific Prime Delivers Emergency Medical Supplies During Exercise  Forager 21

    Courtesy Photo | ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam – Service members from Joint Task Force 598 recover an...... read more read more



    Story by Lt. Col. Sonie Munson 

    I Corps

    ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam – A 25-year-old Soldier aboard U.S. Army Vessel Calaboza is severely injured from a 20 ft. fall, resulting in a fracture of her left femur, three broken ribs, and a collapsed right lung requiring emergency evacuation. What happens if the vessel is approximately 80 nautical miles outside the reach of U.S. Navy’s Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron-25 who is charged with search and rescue in Oceania?

    No, this is not a real-life emergency, but it could be.

    The Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security’s ability to provide emergency medical supplies to stabilize a patient who was out to sea farther than search and rescue assets could respond to is a real-world requirement. This is why the Pacific Prime mission was added to exercise Forager 21.

    “This scenario was the most beneficial training added to Forager 21 in response to analyzing lessons learned from a real-world emergency situation occurring last week,” said Col. James Hayes, the current operations officer for America’s First Corps. “It required Joint Task Force-598 to dynamically employ and coordinate with the Coast Guard, Navy, Air Force and Army Special Forces to rapidly respond to a medical emergency in a remote location outside the reach of the Navy’s rotary wing assets.”

    Search and rescue is just 1 of the 11 missions of the Coast Guard, and the guiding documents for coordination of these efforts is found within the National Search and Rescue Plan. How they respond to search and rescue missions varies on the circumstances of the event.

    “We wanted to improve upon what we learned from the last case so when something like this happens again in the future we are more prepared,” said Ensign Janine Opalka, an operations unit controller for U.S. Coast Guard Sector Guam. “We have a vast space that we oversee and our normal protocol using Navy HSC-25 couldn’t work, so we had to find the next best way to assist.”

    The medical supply drop required the entire joint force starting with the U.S. Army coordinating with the Coast Guard, who called the Navy’s Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron-25 which was unable to respond due to distance. Army and Navy riggers from Group Support Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne), and Navy Support Wing Unit -1 built an apparatus at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, that was capable of safely delivering medical supplies to the vessel via a C-130 air drop from 36th Wing.

    “Pacific Prime is an incredible opportunity to demonstrate the dynamic capability of Aerial Delivery,” said Capt. Dave Baccash, a pilot from 36 Airlift Squadron, 374th Airlift Wing. “Understanding the logistics involved with delivering medical supplies by way of air drop to an oceanic vessel helps us increase our joint interoperability and capabilities moving forward.”

    Essential to the Pacific Prime training was the synchronization of operations which was led by the Coast Guard with a liason officer from America’s First Corps.

    “You wouldn’t know the difference between the Army and Coast Guard Operations Center if you were blindfolded,” said Capt. James Papia, a current operations battle captain for America’s First Corps who was the liason officer for Pacific Prime. “We use different lingo but the same information comes in and goes out… I learned the importance of having a synchronized command center in charge of search and rescue and the Coast Guard is the lead for this for Oceania.”




    Date Taken: 08.04.2021
    Date Posted: 08.04.2021 01:57
    Story ID: 402394

    Web Views: 279
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