READY EAGLES: 377MDG exercise enhances capabilities

  • Published
  • By Wayne Gray
  • 377th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

The 377th Medical Group hosted the Ready Eagle exercise from Feb. 14 – 16, 2022, to prepare medics and medical staff for real-world engagements at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M.

The week embodied a crawl, walk, run approach to training ranging from logistics and planning, to classroom discussions, and ending with a full-scale mass casualty incident involving hundreds of wounded and deceased patients.

“When responding to a mass casualty situation, medical personnel need to know the structure of how to approach the situation…and this is why we train,” explained U.S. Air Force Capt. Jacob Sullivan assigned to the 377MDG.

Role players were brought in from Team Kirtland units to act as casualties, creating an atmosphere of high stress and urgency. Adding to that stressful climate, makeup artists spent hours prior to the capstone event applying fake blood, exposed bones, open wounds and burns in order to strengthen realism for first responders during triage.

Role player U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Emari Rivers, assigned to the 58th Maintenance Group, felt the training offered a great opportunity for preparation in medical warfare. Rivers noted, “The 377th Medical Group did an outstanding job making the casualties look realistic and I’m thrilled that I volunteered.”

A simulated explosion occurred early in the morning kick-starting the capstone in the west fitness center on KAFB. Security forces and medical personnel were immediately dispatched in response to the explosion and were met with a handful of overwhelming scenarios such as massive amounts of casualties, limited medical personnel, and a lack of resources. Overcoming those odds required leadership and teamwork.

U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Krysta Farina, 377MDG Medical Readiness officer, one of the primary facilitators of the exercise, spoke about Ready Eagle. While observing the exercise unfold she expressed how wonderful the opportunity was for the medical group and the wing to train and enhance medical capabilities together and ultimately readying to deploy as a unit.

“Medics essentially have to be ready to respond to any type of situation at a moment’s notice,” said Farina.