Mustang medics train with ROKAF counterparts

by Senior Airman Victor J. Caputo
51st Fighter Wing PAO

OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea — Medics from the 51st Medical Group trained on mass casualty procedures with their Republic of Korea air force counterparts during a medical exercise here Aug. 22, 2016.

The two medical teams treated victims of a simulated bombing and bus accident, with a special focus placed on triaging patients appropriately and quickly.

“It’s important that we understand each other’s capabilities and strengths before a real-world accident happens,” said Master Sgt. Martin Jensen, 51st Aerospace Medical Squadron flight medicine flight chief. “The ROKAF already triage patients very similarly to how we do with the same categories. I’m very pleased with how this went.”

The ROKAF medical personnel are in the process of updating their standard operating procedures for mass casualty responses and, prior to making any changes, wanted to learn how the U.S. Air Force teams would handle a similar situation.

“We wanted to try to do it the [U.S. Air Force] way to see if it fixes existing problems in our systems,” said ROKAF Capt. Kim, Yu Kyoung. “We saw how [the 51st MDG] did it during an exercise and wanted to see it firsthand before our changes.”

Mass casualty exercises like this help prepare medical response teams for real-world mass casualty scenarios, and also serve as a training opportunity before large community events or gatherings, such as the upcoming Air Power Day air show on Sept. 24 – 25.

“In the real world, we all would have to work together,” said Tech. Sgt. Katherine Caraballo, 51st AMDS medical technician. “There was some difficulty with the language barrier, but the ROKAF take this very seriously. This training could really come in handy for the air show next month.”

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