Marines engage in mass casualty drills

Exercise brings the realities of the battlefield to the homefront

Marines engage in mass casualty drills

A corpsman with 2nd Medical Battalion, Combat Logistics Regiment 25, 2nd Marine Logistics Group assesses a simulated casualty’s wounds during a mass casualty exercise aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., Dec 12, 2013.(Photo by Lance Cpl. Shawn Valosin)

By Lance Cpl. Shawn Valosin

CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- Agonizing cries of Marines and sailors were heard across Soiffert Field after simulated improvised explosive devices detonated here Dec. 12.          

Sirens rang out, calling the quick reaction force to respond. While service members tried to rescue the simulated casualties, acting insurgents conducted a follow-on attack, detonating bombs that were strapped to their chests.

The entire attack was a simulated mass casualty exercise conducted by 2nd Medical Battalion, Combat Logistics Regiment 25, 2nd Marine Logistics Group to maintain mission readiness and prepare Marines and sailors for future deployments.

“I’ve never been deployed nor done any training like this,” said Pfc. Luke Dailey, a motor transportation operator with 2nd Med. Bn. “I’ve learned a lot about the medical side as well as the security side for Marines from this.”

Service members attended classes and practiced various scenarios they could encounter in a deployed environment during the days leading up to the exercise. The sailors instructed Marines on what surgical teams do on the battlefield, and the Marines taught sailors about patrolling, evacuating casualties and detaining prisoners.

“It’s been a challenge to create the type of tempo and scenarios that you face in a deployed environment,” said Petty Officer Second Class Frankie Segura, an instructor with 2nd Medical Bn. “We try to emphasize to the participants that they each need to be a jack of all trades. Communications have to be constant and multiple casualties have to be treated and evacuated.”

After experiencing simulated IED explosions and suicide bombers while rescuing their fallen comrades, the first responders treated the casualties’ wounds on the battlefield and then evacuated them out of the danger zone. Patients were then placed on a stretcher and brought into the forward resuscitative surgical system (FRSS) to receive further lifesaving treatment.