By Capt. Corey RobertsonJanuary 16, 2014
SOUTHWEST ASIA Jan. 16, 2014 -- Soldiers assume risks everyday, whether in garrison or forward deployed environments, and must assume a vigilant watch to ensure risk levels are kept at their absolute lowest.
The Soldiers of 12th Missile Defense Detachment and 1st Squadron, 10 Cavalry Regiment, who are deployed in Southwest Asia, held a Life Flight exercise to enforce risk mitigation.
The exercise tested 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 (MEDEVAC).
The scenario that played out was a force protection Soldier on patrol who was bitten by a poisonous snake. Once the bite was reported, Soldiers immediately sprang into action
The "injured" Soldier was rushed to an 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.
The noncommissioned officer in charge then made the phone call to the host-nation hospital and within minutes a 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 followed went perfect," said 1st Lt Christopher Walker, 12th MDD operations officer.
With the helicopter safely landed, the ground crew transported the Soldier to paramedics with the Life Flight helicopter.
"We are looking for a 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.
The exercise focused on medical evacuation tactics, techniques and procedures as well as 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 exercise was a success.
"The exercise went quite well, I was very impressed by the coordination and the reaction by the security forces unit, building trust and building the understanding that we take our jobs seriously out here is very crucial," he said.
The Life Flight program is a quarterly coordination effort, between the U.S. military and the local MEDEVAC assets that tests the coordination and ability to work with host nation medical personnel.
"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.