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Interagency exercise boosts medical readiness

A group of Airman hold an CPR dummy while receiving instructions from another Airman.

U.S. Air Force Airmen lift a CPR mannequin in a C-17 Globemaster III from Thompson Field Air National Guard Base, Mississippi for Operation Foremost Endeavor at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. Feb. 20, 2019. The goal of the exercise was to give officials, observers, media personnel and players from participating organizations information they need to observe or participate in a National Disaster Medical System hospital evacuation, aeromedical evacuation and patient reception exercise. The exercise focuses on participants’ emergency response plans, policies and procedures as they pertain to a medical surge incident resulting from a disaster in the state of California. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Bryan Guthrie)

U.S. Air Force Airmen walk off an C-17 Globemaster III, assigned to the 172d Airlift Wing, in preparation of Operation Foremost Endeavor at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Feb. 22, 2019. The 172d AW mission is to constantly improve their combat capability to defend the U.S. and support the state of Mississippi. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Bryan Guthrie)

A 183rd Air Evacuation Squadron patch sits on an Airman's flight suit. in front of three Airmen.

U.S. Air Force Airmen assigned to the 183rd Air Evacuation Squadron prepare for Operation Foremost Endeavor at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Feb. 20, 2019. The exercise was a simulated earthquake in southern California where casualties were air lifted and brought to Nellis AFB for initial care then taken to the appropriate hospitals to treat their injuries. (U.S. Air Force photo Airman 1st Class Bryan Guthrie)

An Airman adjusts dials on a panel while inside a C-17 Globemaster III.

U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Douglas Spitchley, assigned to the 172d Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at Thompson Field Air National Guard Base, Mississippi adjusts controls in a C-17 Globemaster III at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Feb. 20, 2019. The 172d Airlift Wing has nine C-17s in its wing with the ability to move, supply or position assets at a global level. (U.S. Air force photo Airman 1st Class Bryan Guthrie)

An Airman holds an open folder while speaking to a civilian.

An U.S. Air Force Airman assigned to the 99th Medical Group speaks to volunteer near the collusion of Operation Foremost Endeavor at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Feb. 20, 2019. Majority of the volunteers for the exercise were Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps students where they were given different levels of injuries and tested the Veterans Affairs and 99th MDG personnel to quickly and efficiently diagnose the patients and send them to the appropriate hospital. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Bryan Guthrie)

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. -- The 99th Medical Group, Department of Veterans Affairs and Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps participated in a federal coordination exercise, Feb. 19, simulating a mass airlift operation to extract casualties following a disaster.

Operation Foremost Endeavor provided officials, observers, media personnel and participants information needed to observe or participate in a National Disaster Medical System hospital evacuation, aeromedical evacuation and patient reception exercise.

“This exercise was a wonderful opportunity to showcase the national disaster and medical system, and how the different federal entities support one another and our nation in the event of a tragic national emergency,” said Col. Wade Adair, 99th MDG administrator.

Felix Acevedo, VA Medical Center North Las Vegas emergency preparedness coordinator, said human-created or natural disasters are unpredictable, so opportunities to work with the Department of Defense, federal agencies and the community makes everyone more resilient and prepared.

Taking the lead for the exercise, the VA focused on participants’ emergency response plans, policies and procedures as they pertained to a surge of medical incidents following an earthquake in southern California. The 99th MDG and VA personnel were tested on how quickly and efficiently they could in-process, assess and treat approximately 60 casualties with injuries varying from minimal wounds to critical care needs.

The 172d Airlift Wing provided airlift support via a C-17 Globemaster III cargo aircraft as well as a team of Aerospace Medical Service Airmen assigned to the 183d Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron from the Mississippi Air National Guard at Thompson Field ANG Base.

This is the first federal coordination exercise at Nellis in eight years.

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