By Capt. Corey Robertson December 30, 2013
SOUTHWEST ASIA- Soldiers assume risk everyday, rather in garrison or forward deployed environments they must assume a vigilant watch to ensure risk levels are kept at their absolute lowest.
The Soldiers of 12th Missile Defense Detachment and 1-10 Cavalry, 4th Infantry Division currently deployed to an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia executed a Life Flight exercise this week to enforce risk mitigation.
The exercise was conducted to test the ability of the medical and force protection Soldiers on-site and their ability to react and identify the procedures necessary to perform a medical evacuation or MEDEVAC.
The scenario that played out was a FP Soldier was on patrol and was bitten by a poisonous snake, once the bite was reported the Soldiers immediately sprang into action
Once the snake bit occurred, the "injured" Soldier was rushed to their on-site aid station and the diagnosis began. He was given a thorough examination, the bite wound was inspected and the need for a MEDEVAC was ultimately decided.
Once the need for the MEDAVAC was decided the noncommissioned officer in charge made the phone call to the host-nation hospital and within minutes the Life Flight helicopter was in the air and en-route.
"This is my first time working with a foreign nation and the MEDEVAC procedures that follow, and no issues it went perfect," said 1st Lt Christopher Walker 12th MDD operations officer
Once the helicopter landed the Soldier was transported from the on-ground crew to the paramedics standing by with Life Flight.
"We are looking for a target time on target of 30 minutes, and from receipt of the call to on-ground it was just under 30 minutes," said Sgt. Brian Yaple, 31st ADA senior medic.
This exercise focused on medical evacuation tactics, techniques and procedures also it focused on working with host nation civilian medical personnel.
"Working with our host nation, is a really great experience, we work with a conglomerate of pilots and paramedics from different walks of life and experiences, so finding a way to meet in the middle to make this Life Flight exercise work is a great accomplishment," said Walker.
When asked about the efforts and coordination that went into this event Yaple said, "It required patience and perseverance to pull this off, but the end state is pretty staggering."
Yaple continued to say, "The exercise went quite well, I was very impressed by the coordination and the reaction by the SECFOR unit, building trust and building the understanding that we take our jobs seriously out here is very crucial."
The Life Flight Program is a quarterly coordination effort, between the U.S. military assets and the local MEDEVAC assets that tests the coordination and ability to work with host nation medical assets.
"We don't always get a live helicopter for this exercise; we have a one-hour window to work with so this worked out perfectly," said Walker.
"The exercise went quite well, I was very impressed by the coordination and the reaction by the SECFOR unit," said Yaple.
"Building trust and building the understanding that we take our jobs seriously out here is very crucial."
The Soldiers of 12th MDD and 1-10 Cavalry look forward to continuing their relationship with host nation assets and future exercises.