All aboard: US, S. Korean soldiers simulate patient evacuation by train
SUWON, South Korea — Seoul commuters recently found themselves sharing a train platform with U.S. and South Korean soldiers suffering from simulated battlefield casualties.
The biannual medical exercise, called Dragon Lift, involved about 1,000 U.S. and South Korean soldiers and civilians and was aimed at testing the ability of medical troops from both countries to take wounded fighters from the front lines to hospitals in the rear.
Soldiers acting as injury victims were triaged Wednesday at South Korea’s Armed Forces Medical Command at Goyang, about 10 miles north of Seoul. Then they were transported via air, rail and road to Ajou University Hospital’s trauma center in Suwon, about 20 miles south of the capital.
Other conflicts involving U.S. servicemembers, such as in Iraq and Afghanistan, are taking place in countries with diminished or limited infrastructure. The U.S. military can’t afford to ignore the more than 2,000 miles of rail in South Korea, said Maj. Stephen Duryea, theater evacuation planner for U.S. Forces Korea.
“You’ve got be prepared to use all assets,” he said, adding it was the third time Dragon Lift has included trains.
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