DRAWSKO POMORSKIE, Poland - Above a military training field, the green camouflaged watchtower becomes the perfect vantage point to witness landmine explosions and a hovering medical helicopter while Polish and American soldiers run intensely to treat wounded soldiers.
U.S. and Polish army troops are participating in mass casualty evacuation training at Drawsko Pomorskie Training Area as part of Exercise Anakonda 2016 (AN16), a Polish-led, multinational exercise running from June 7–17.
Over 13,000 American troops from the active Army, Army Reserve and National Guard are training alongside 25 other partner nations. The interoperability between these allied nations is at the forefront of the mass casualty simulation training.
“The simulation brings Polish, Romanian and American medical units together to practice what they’ve learned in a live environment,” says Sgt. 1st Class Michael Wilcox, a combat medic assigned to the 10 Engineering Battalion, Ft. Stewart, GA. "When it’s time for us to work together in a real world crisis, we’ll already be familiarized with each other’s operating procedures." U.S. and Polish soldiers learn valuable skills from each other while participating in AN16.
“It’s important that we test our procedures and capabilities in real combat situations, because the Polish and U.S. armies have different procedures, but we have to test them in real situations and learn to work together,” says Capt. Marcin Sobotka, from the 25th Medical Support in the Polish Army.
obotka said for units involved in the mass casualty exercise the drill involves an ambush of military vehicles with simulated casualties. He said the medical units will then go to the front line to evacuate those in need of more serious care. In addition to the training at Drawsko Pomorskie, the 1st Cavalry hosted a mass casualty at Miroslaweic Airfield, Poland. The training included treating the three main causes of preventable death: airway obstruction, air pressure in the lung cavity and excessive bleeding from a leg or arm wound.