SOTO CANO AIR BASE, Honduras, –
Members from nearly every agency at Joint Task Force-Bravo participated in a base-wide exercise July 10.
The exercise was designed to test base personnel to perform multiple tasks. The tasks included were anti-terrorism, force protection and a mass casualty, said Capt. Justin Rex, J35 Plans and Exercise officer.
To allow for a mass casualty a bus was used to simulate a C-21 that had crashed onto the runway. JTF-Bravo Medical Element dressed the personnel on the bus to role play different injuries from bruising to broken bones and even death.
To simulate the anti-terrorism part of the exercise, the tower simulated that it looked like the plane may have been struck by a shoulder-carried missile. The result of this also allowed the base to simulate a change in force protection, Captain Rex said.
"The design of this exercise was to involve as many agencies as possible, especially security forces, fire department and the medical element," Captain Rex said. "The units involved performed very well overall and provided good inter-agency coordination."
One of the units tested under the exercise was MEDEL.
"MEDEL was able to rehearse coordination and synchronization of the initial response with JSF and fire department personnel, particularly when it comes to defining roles and responsibilities regarding extrication and treatment," said Col. Otto Boneta, JTF-Bravo MEDEL commander. "MEDEL was also able to integrate the FP exercise with a mass casualty exercise involving all MEDEL personnel. The mass casualty exercise took all the casualties through initial triage, stabilization, treatment and coordination of aero-medical evacuation."
Showing good coordination is a good sign for JTF-Bravo, because the last base-wide exercise involving this many elements was approximately 18 months ago. Plans are currently in the works to have an exercise every four months, the captain said.
"There is a very heavy rotations burden here at Soto Cano, so it is important to exercise on a regular basis to keep up with continuity," Captain Rex said. "The whole point of an exercise is to prepare for the worst, and while we achieved our objectives we need to always look to improve."