U.S. Army and coalition medical personnel from New Zealand, Singapore and Australia took part in a real-world, medical-training scenario at Camp Taji in Iraq. The exercise helped train the participants to handle a flood of wounded patients coming into the Role Two Enhanced Medical Facility.
Camp Taji is overseen by the Australian army and is one of five Combined Joint-Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve partner locations dedicated to training forces and enhancing their effectiveness on the battlefield.
"These exercises are made to stress the system with a larger number of patients than you would normally see, so you can iron out all the kinks when it's practiced," said Capt. Brian Morey, an aeromedical physician assistant assigned to the 1st Battalion, 126 Aviation Regiment, 449th Combat Aviation Brigade.
The exercise began with a gas bottle explosion that injured numerous soldiers. Medical personnel on site rendered aid to wounded soldiers as they waited for the arrival of the medical evacuation team.
"When it comes to a mass casualty we are all working together, but essentially we have a Singaporean team in charge of the recess (re-cessation bay) and the New Zealand team is in charge of the primary health care," said Australian Army Maj. Greg Button, the senior medical officer at the Taji Role Two Medical Facility. "We also have the American Role One with us. They help manage the other recess bay in a mass casualty situation."
Personnel also worked on the protocol for loading patients onto a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters.
"We did a walk-through of the danger areas of the aircraft, how to approach it and how the patients are loaded," said Morey. "We showed them the inside and the capabilities of how to sustain a patient inside the aircraft. This was a culminating event that we added to the mass casualty exercise so they can actually load a patient on an aircraft at a real location and test their whole system."
This gives the medics a chance to work with multinational forces," said Morey. "It really does a lot for building those experiences."