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

United States Air Force Maj. Anna Fedotova, 8th Medical Operation Squadron mental health flight chief, and a Republic of Korea Air Force medical airman work together to bandage a ROKAF airman’s head during a mass casualty exercise at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, April 19, 2017. U.S. and ROK airmen conducted the training to evaluate their ability to communicate and operate through a MASCAL situation. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Colville McFee/Released)

U.S. Air Force Maj. Anna Fedotova, 8th Medical Operation Squadron mental health flight chief, and a Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) medical airman work together to bandage a ROKAF airman’s head during a mass casualty (MASCAL) exercise at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, April 19, 2017. The combined training gave first responders valuable experience and helped strengthen the relationship between U.S. and ROKAF medical units. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Colville McFee)

United States Air Force Staff Sgt. Devon Jefferies, 8th Medical Logistics Squadron medical technician, lies on a stretcher while receiving care from Republic of Korea Air Force airmen during a mass casualty exercise at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, April 19, 2017. U.S. and ROK airmen conducted the training to evaluate their ability to communicate and operate through a MASCAL situation. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Colville McFee/Released)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Devon Jefferies, 8th Medical Logistics Squadron medical technician, lies on a stretcher while receiving care from Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) airmen during a mass casualty exercise at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, April 19, 2017. The combined training gave first responders valuable experience and helped strengthen the relationship between U.S. and ROKAF medical units. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Colville McFee)

United States Air Force members assigned to the 8th Medical Group and Republic of Korea Air Force medical airmen work together to lift an airman into an ambulance during a mass casualty exercise at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, April 19, 2017. U.S. and ROK airmen conducted the training to evaluate their ability to communicate and operate through a MASCAL situation. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Colville McFee/Released)

U.S. Airmen assigned to the 8th Medical Group and Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) medical airmen work together to lift a patient into an ambulance during a mass casualty exercise at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, April 19, 2017. The combined training gave first responders valuable experience and helped strengthen the relationship between U.S. and ROKAF medical units. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Colville McFee)

United States Air Force members assigned to the 8th Medical Group and Republic of Korea Air Force medical airmen participate in a mass causality exercise at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, April 19, 2017. The scenario involved a vehicle crash and explosion, which injured 10 USAF personnel and five ROKAF personnel. U.S. and ROK airmen conducted the training to evaluate their ability to communicate and operate through a MASCAL situation. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Senior Airman Colville McFee/Released)

U.S. Airmen assigned to the 8th Medical Group and Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) medical airmen participate in a mass casualty exercise at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, April 19, 2017. The scenario involved a vehicle crash and explosion, which injured 10 USAF personnel and five ROKAF personnel. The combined training gave first responders valuable experience and helped strengthen the relationship between U.S. and ROKAF medical units. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Senior Airman Colville McFee)

KUNSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea --

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.”

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