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Interagency exercise boosts medical readiness

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Bryan Guthrie
  • 99th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
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.