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    Task Force Koa Moana 21 Participates in Palau's Disaster Preparedness Month

    Task Force Koa Moana 21 Participates in a Mass CASEVAC Exercise

    Photo By Sgt. Marvin Lopeznavarro | U.S. Navy Lt. Jameel L. Daniels, the chaplain of Task Force Koa Moana 21, I Marine...... read more read more



    Story by Sgt. Marvin Lopeznavarro 

    I Marine Expeditionary Force

    Airai, Republic of Palau – (September 15, 2021) Marines & Sailors with Task Force Koa Moana 21, I
    Marine Expeditionary Force, partnered with Civic Action Team Palau 36-05 and Palauan first responders
    to participate in a full-scale mass casualty exercise at the Palau International Airport in Airai, Republic of
    Palau, 15-18 Sept., 2021.
    The simulated casualties were soaked with rain that continued to pour throughout the exercise.
    However, that did not stop the task force medical staff and Palauan first responders from performing at
    the highest level. These medical professionals knew there was little room for error when responding to a
    mass casualty and understood the importance of this exercise.
    “The purpose of this mass casualty exercise is to test Palau’s emergency response capabilities,” said
    Dwayne Masami, the chief for the Aircraft Rescue & Fire Fighting Station. “The airport cannot receive
    international flights unless we demonstrate that we are equipped to handle any potential aircraft
    emergencies and meet certain safety requirements.”
    The scenario for this exercise was a commercial aircraft that suffered damage from a bird strike. The
    aircraft was forced to perform an emergency landing, which caused damage to its wing and the aircraft
    to skid on its side across the runway. Multiple emergency response organizations participated in the
    exercise due to the severity and scale of the scenario.
    “They worked really well as a team,” said U.S. Navy Lt. Pamela R. Rakoski, the lead medical officer for
    Task Force Koa Moana 21, I Marine Expeditionary Force. “When it was show time, they didn’t hesitate to
    jump into action and get the job done.”
    The Aircraft Rescue & Fire Fighting Station and city fire department members were in charge of fire
    suppression and transporting the role players from the crash site to the decontamination area, where a
    hazmat team from the Environmental Quality Protection Board carried the simulated casualties through
    a decontamination shower and to the triage area.
    The triage area was staffed by nurses from the Belau National Hospital as well as trained emergency
    medical technicians from the City Fire Department, and Civic Action Team Palau 36-05. After the
    casualties were stabilized, they were transported to the Belau National Hospital to receive the next level
    of medical care.
    “One of the main focus points for this mass casualty exercise was testing out the triage and casualty
    assessment capabilities of the first responders,” said Rakoski. “The exercise also tested the hospital’s
    ability to receive a surge of patients, re-triage and re-prioritize them.”
    The Task Force Koa Moana medical staff participated in the training exercise as observers. They were
    tasked with evaluating the first responders while they rendered aid to the casualties. This allowed them
    to help identify what part of the triage process could be modified or improved. The task force also
    provided communication specialist Marines to help evaluate the implementation and use of their
    communication systems during the scenario.
    “This was a great opportunity to help strengthen the relationship that Task Force Koa Moana has with
    the people of Palau, and it also helped improve their crises response capabilities” said Rakoski.
    Task Force Koa Moana is designed to strengthen and enhance relationships between the U.S. and partner nations/states in the Indo-Pacific Region while remaining COVID-19 safe. The task force has the unique opportunity and privilege of working with the Republic of Palau as a sign of the U.S. commitment to the people of Palau and its partners and allies in the Indo-Pacific Region.



    Date Taken: 09.26.2021
    Date Posted: 09.27.2021 01:01
    Story ID: 406050
    Location: AIRAI, PW 

    Web Views: 206
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