MCAS Futenma conducts mass casualty exercise

by Marine Corps Installations Pacific
Stripes Okinawa

MCAS FUTENMA, OKINAWA, Japan – -- Marines preformed a mass casualty exercise Sept. 28 on Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, Okinawa, Japan.

The exercise was used to track the response time and procedures of Marine Corps Installations Pacific, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing and MCAS Futenma’s emergency responders.

“This mass casualty exercise was an interoperability exercise that incorporated the first responders of MCIPAC, 1st MAW and MCAS Futenma.” said Maj. Jeffrey C. Hughes, the operations officer for MCAS Futenma. “In addition, this exercise tested the communications infrastructure between the various commands both at the incident location and the various headquarters’ levels.”

Exercises like this one give first responders the opportunity to work with their counterparts, and get feedback and ideas on how to improve their procedures, according to James Altman, the emergency manager and chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear protection officer for MCAS Futenma.

“Exercises of this type allow the first responders the opportunity to utilize their equipment, to maintain equipment serviceability and readiness,” said Altman. “It also exercises the chain of command in communication. It gives all the elements of various first response agencies a clearer knowledge of how to use their equipment and procedures, and if necessary, refine their guidelines for procedures. That being said, it should let our partner nations know that our first responding agencies are fully capable and ready to support in any situation as it arises.”

The exercise involved four volunteers who were simulated casualties. They had artificial burns, fractured bones and different stages of conscious. The response teams had to follow procedures to contain the site, find the causalities and transfer them to medical care. The agencies worked together to make sure the process flowed.

“Today’s exercise was a huge success. The various agencies came together and worked towards a common goal efficiently and effectively,” said Altman. “I am very happy with how the exercise ended today.”

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