U.S., Korean Airmen strengthen medical skills during exercise

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Colville McFee
  • 8th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

U.S. Airmen assigned to the 8th Medical Group and Republic of Korea Air Force medical airmen participated in a simulated multiple casualty exercise April 19.

The exercise was conducted to assess communication and operations between ROKAF and U.S. medical teams during a mass casualty situation.

“The communication between U.S. Forces and ROKAF went very well,” said Master Sgt. Manuela Dabu, 8th Medical Operations Squadron superintendent. “U.S. and ROKAF personnel transitioned smoothly between taking care of people and moving through the phases of the exercise.”

The scenario involved a vehicle crash and explosion, which injured 10 U.S. Air Force personnel and five ROKAF personnel.

U.S. medical teams were the first to respond, immediately beginning treatment and later setting up a triage. The “injured” military members were then transported by ambulance to the 8th Medical Group building for advanced care.

“The injuries are fake but the simulations were real world injuries that could happen at any point and time, so it helps us with learning how to triage, treat and transport patients in an emergency situation,” said Senior Airman Jessica Opsal, 8th Medical Group ambulance service technician.

Ultimately, the combined training gave first responders valuable experience and helped strengthen the relationship between U.S. and ROKAF medical units.

“Exercises like this help us prepare for real world situations,” said Opsal. ”It allows us to work with our U.S. team members as well as ROKAF; it gives us the confidence to make sure that we run smoothly when there is a real world situation. The main goal is to save lives and take care of patients, which is the best part about my job.”