Interagency exercise boosts medical readiness

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A U.S. Air Force Airman assigned to the 99th Medical Group speaks to a volunteer during Operation Foremost Endeavor at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Feb. 20, 2019. The majority of the volunteers for the exercise were Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps students. They were given different levels of injuries and tested the Veterans Affairs and 99th MDG personnel to quickly and efficiently diagnose the patients and send them to the appropriate hospital.

The 99th Medical Group, Department of Veterans Affairs and Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps took part in an exercise called Operation Foremost Endeavor where injured individuals in a simulated disaster were airlifted to Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Feb. 19.

The exercise was intended to give officials, observers, media personnel and participants information they need 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 overall support our nation in the event of a tragic national emergency,” said Col. Wade Adair, 99th Medical Group Administrator.

Operation Foremost Endeavor focuses on participants’ emergency response plans, policies and procedures as they pertain to a surge of medical incidents resulting from a disaster in California.

The exercise simulated an earthquake in southern California that caused a multitude of different injuries that had personnel and victims airlifted from the scene of the disaster.

U.S. Air Force Airmen assigned to the 183rd Air Evacuation Squadron prepare for Operation Foremost Endeavor at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Feb. 20, 2019. The exercise was a simulated earthquake in southern California where casualties were air lifted and brought to Nellis AFB for initial care then taken to the appropriate hospitals to treat their injuries.

Felix Acevedo, VA Medical Center North Las Vegas Emergency Preparedness Coordinator, said we’ll never know when the next human-created or natural disaster will happen so anytime they get an opportunity to work with the Department of Defense, Federal Agencies and the community, it makes everyone more resilient and prepared.

A multitude of different units participated in the exercise including a team from Mississippi.

A C-17 Globemaster III assigned to the 172nd Airlift Wing and a team of Aerospace Medical Service Airmen assigned to the 183rd Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron from the Mississippi Air National Guard at Thompson Field ANG Base, Miss., flew here for their first Federal Coordination Exercise at Nellis.

Approximately 60 simulated patients were given different levels of injuries ranging from minimal wounds to critical care needed. The 99th MDG and VA personnel were tested on how quickly and efficiently they could in-process, assess and get them to the hospital for their appropriate injury.

Operation Foremost Endeavor is the first Federal Coordination Exercise here in eight years. Normally the 99th MDG is in charge for these exercises but in this case, the VA took the lead.
 

U.S. Air Force Airmen lift a CPR mannequin in a C-17 Globemaster III from Thompson Field Air National Guard Base, Miss., for Operation Foremost Endeavor at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. Feb. 20, 2019. The goal of the exercise was to give officials, observers, media personnel and players from participating organizations information they need to observe or participate in a National Disaster Medical System hospital evacuation, aeromedical evacuation and patient reception exercise. The exercise focuses on participants’ emergency response plans, policies and procedures as they pertain to a medical surge incident resulting from a disaster in the state of California.

 

U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Douglas Spitchley, assigned to the 172rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at Thompson Field Air National Guard Base, Miss., adjusts controls in a C-17 Globemaster III at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Feb. 20, 2019. The 172rd Airlift Wing has nine C-17s in its wing with the ability to move, supply or position assets at a global level.

 

U.S. Air Force Airmen walk off an C-17 Globemaster III, assigned to the 172nd Airlift Wing, in preparation of Operation Foremost Endeavor at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Feb. 22, 2019. The 172nd AW mission is to constantly improve their combat capability to defend the U.S. and support the state of Mississippi.