News: Marines and sailors conduct medical evacuation drills
Story by Pfc. Daniel Valle
CAMP FUJI, Japan - A turbulent scene unfolded at Combined Arms Training Center, Camp Fuji, Japan, as Marines and corpsmen attached to 3rd Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, conducted a medical evacuation drill and mass casualty drill here June 16-17, in preparation for training as part of Artillery Relocation Training Program 11-1 at the East Fuji Maneuver Area.
“Any time a Marine learns the job of a corpsman, it’s a good thing,” said Navy Lt. Karl Soderlund, battalion surgeon for 3rd Battalion, 12th Marines. For the corpsmen, the purpose of the exercise was to develop an understanding of artillery-related injuries and to hone their skills in emergency treatment in preparation for the live-fire training which began June 18.
“We conducted this training to ensure that we are capable of handling any artillery-related incidents that could possibly occur during this training,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Jeffrey A. Chandler, a corpsman with 3rd Battalion, 12th Marines. “This is only a precautionary measure that we as corpsmen take to solidify the safety of the Marines.”
Successfully treating casualties requires everyone’s support.
“Both Marines and corpsmen need to know how to successfully evacuate a casualty because it is important to have an evacuation plan during any exercise,” said Soderlund.
During the exercise, Marines and corpsmen strapped simulated casualties to a stretcher and transported them to a helicopter. After the helicopter landed, the casualties were taken to an emergency vehicle.
“The training was successful because all the casualties were appropriately treated and moved to safety,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Daniel S. Barton, a corpsman with 3rd Battalion, 12th Marines. “This is what we do as corpsmen. We are here to make sure the Marines stay healthy in order for them to maintain their operational readiness.”
Both Barton and Chandler agree that this type of training is essential for Marines and sailors because it creates a necessary cohesion between their respective branches.
"If something happens to me, I know that the Marines will help do my job and take care of me just as I would for them,” said Barton.