Exercise tests reservists’ mass casualty response
By Staff Sgt. Justin Norton, 302nd Airlift Wing Public Affairs
/ Published November 03, 2017
FORT CARSON, Colo. -- Reserve Citizen Airmen, litters in tow, rush into a smoke-filled building amid the screams and shouts of the wounded. Strapping the injured onto litters, one by one, they carry them to safety before returning to the smoke-filled building to search for others.
This was the scene for approximately 200 Reserve Citizen Airmen from the 302nd Airlift Wing during a mass casualty and joint aeromedical evacuation exercise at Fort Carson, Colorado, Oct. 14.
According to Lt. Col. Alan Flolo, 302nd AW director of inspections, the Air Force Reserve Command exercise evaluated the wing’s medical emergency response skills in a deployed environment.
The exercise involved the wing’s airlift, maintenance, aeromedical evacuation and critical care operations, during a simulated attack on Airmen to test emergency medical response, triage, transportation and airlift of wounded personnel.
Four-person teams from the 302nd Aeromedical Staging Squadron transferred the most critically wounded to the rear of the C-130 to await transfer. The rest of the wounded were transported to an Army medical evacuation vehicle via litter-carry.
“The Airmen were exposed to the different loading scenarios and the various ways that the Army handles medical evacuation procedures, said Tech. Sgt. Katharina D’Amato, NCO in charge of the 302nd Aeromedical Staging Squadron En Route Patient Staging System.
The Colorado Army National Guard supported the exercise with two UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters allowing 302nd AW Airmen to get first-hand experience on aeromedical evacuation procedures for critically wounded.
“It’s important to get hands-on training,” said Staff Sgt. Barbara Yale, a medical technician with the 302nd ASTS. “Many Airmen have never experienced a joint training environment and this has been a valuable experience.”
“This could very easily be a real-world scenario,” said Capt. Leslie Shook, a 302nd ASTS critical care nurse and coordinator of the Unit Training Assembly exercise at Fort Carson. Shook helped coordinate the joint participation at Fort Carson and with the Colorado Army National Guard helicopters supporting the exercise.