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82nd Medical Group enhances training and readiness through Ready Eagle exercise

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Katie McKee
  • 82nd TRW Public Affairs

The 82nd Medical Group participated in a Ready Eagle exercise to strengthen training and readiness in response to mass casualty events recently.

Ready Eagle is a training program funded through the Defense Health Agency to amplify Medical Contingency Response Home Station readiness, team integration and all-hazards response skills. This specific exercise was a simulated Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosives attack.

All active duty and essential civilian staff, 177 people in all, played a role in completing this exercise. Over 50 volunteers consisting of Airmen in Training, Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training pilots and other employees throughout the base acted as test patients to make it a success.

Col. Sarah Evans, 82nd MDG Commander, observed the exercise as patients were assisted and comforted after a simulated explosion put the emergency management plan into action. 

“I watched as our staff worked well, adjusted, cross functioned and provided good care in a trying environment during this event,” said Evans. “The impact and benefit to Sheppard is increased readiness of the medical flight to respond to mass casualty events rapidly, confidently, and effectively, aiding in reduction to loss of life or limb.”

As test patients with different wounds and symptoms arrived at the decontamination area, medics and personnel put their knowledge to the test. They worked in teams identifying who needed immediate treatment, who needed a tourniquet or who needed a simple bandage. Non-ambulatory patients were treated first, decontaminated and moved into the clinic for evaluation.

Kathryn Coverley-Lager, the Medical Emergency Readiness Manager, helped prepare resources, logistics and outside agencies to ensure the training was a success.

“This was an outstanding opportunity for our medics to practice mass casualty response with feedback, instruction, tools and the ability to pause, before a real-world event puts them to the test,” said Coverley-Lager. “Events like this succeed when partner agencies on and off base are involved, and we were fortunate enough to have multiple agencies participate including the 82nd Training Wing fire station and the local American Medical Response ambulance service.”

While this is not a mandatory training, it is highly recommended as it provides the MDG areas for improvement that are focus items for the next year.

“Takeaways from the week’s events are increased knowledge, communication and cohesiveness,” said Evans. “The staff’s confidence in their own abilities also increases exponentially.”