U.S. ARMY GARRISON - YONGSAN, KOREA -- As ambulance trucks with wounded Soldiers entered the 121st Combat Support Hospital (CSH), Soldiers in the 121st CSH moved fast and in perfect order.
The 121st CSH showcased its capability of providing prompt medical care to multiple trauma patients with a variety of physical injuries and emotional distress at a mass casualty (MASCAL) exercise during Ulchi Freedom Guardian 2017.
CSH tents were set up in an exact way, reflecting the real scale and components of the hospital during actual war time. The staff consisted of medics, technicians, registered nurses, surgeons and administrative staff from both the U.S. and Republic of Korea (ROK) Army. The MASCAL exercise tested the staff's ability to handle scenarios by mirroring real war situations.
Simulated patients arrived with injuries from gunshot wounds to an amputated leg from bomb blasts. The emergency department and the patient administration division led the triaging and tracking of patients through the treatment process. The exercise focused on the full scale of patient care including triage, pharmaceutical care, lab testing, radiology, surgical operations and post-operative care.
U.S. and ROK medical providers demonstrated perfect team work during this emergent operation. One of the U.S. Army surgeons, Lt. Col. Phillip Mullinex and ROK nurse, Capt. Cho-Rong Chin checked the status of patients and made decisions on pertinent care together.
Soldiers who were moved to the intensive care ward (ICW) after medical treatment were provided some food along with prayer from the hospital chaplain, Capt. Kim Hyo-Seok. Making sure Soldiers are provided with some nutrition care is an important aspect of providing quality care, and not overlooked by the Command Sgt. Maj. Diahann White, senior enlisted advisor of the 121st CSH.
"This exercise was a great opportunity to show our medical assets as they performed daily operations around the peninsula," said White. "Providing medical care comes first as our duty, but treating these Soldiers with a warm heart is also what we do to take care of our battle buddies whether they are Korean or American."
Command Sgt. Maj. Richard Merritt, senior enlisted advisor of the Eighth United States Army visited the 121st CSH tent to observe the state of readiness and to show support for our troops. Walking through each section, Merritt asked questions focused on the capacity and competency of the medical facility. He also talked to Soldiers individually to emphasize personal readiness to be ready to 'Fight Tonight'.
"You all are saving people's lives here and we are counting on you," said Merritt.
"Soldiers worked really hard to maintain readiness to be able to respond and react to any all-hazard emergency," said Capt. Erika Rosales, Bravo company commander, who was in charge of operating the 121st CSH throughout the UFG. "We are confident that we have the competency to provide high quality and reliable medical care in any condition."
"The 121st CSH Soldiers have demonstrated complete commitment and dedication to the mission," said Col. Erica Clarkson, the 121st CSH commander. "Throughout the exercise, team 121 has proven that they are ready to take care of wounded Soldiers should we transition to hostilities."
Ulchi Freedom Guardian 2017 concluded this week and the 121st CSH successfully reaffirmed its competency and strengthened the ROK-U.S. alliance.