USNH Yokosuka Receives Simulated Casualties during Joint Exercise
Sailors stationed at U.S. Naval Hospital (USNH) Yokosuka and airmen stationed at Yokota Air Base participated in a joint operational readiness exercise Feb. 26.
The exercise simulated an active-shooter scenario at Yokota Air Base in which aircrews from the air base airlifted four simulated patients to Fleet Activities Yokosuka in two UH-1 Huey helicopters. USNH Yokosuka emergency responders then transported the simulated patients to the hospital for treatment.
“It was a mass causality medivac mission,” said USNH Yokosuka Emergency Management Officer Jeff Sloan. “This drill allowed our Sailors to get hands-on experience loading and unloading patients into and from the helicopters.”
The day started with a block of instruction from the hospital’s staff education and training department where 19 hospital corpsmen were trained on medical evacuation and air transport operations.
The Sailors work in all areas of the hospital ranging from administration to patient care departments, Sloan said.
While the two services continually train individually for different emergency situations this is the first time in more than five years the two have come together for a joint exercise of this magnitude. This exercise strengthens cooperation and readiness between the two services which allows for a quicker, more focused response during a real world casualty.
“We can’t do it by ourselves,” said Sloan “If an earthquake happens here we are going to need to transport patients away from our site to one of our host nation’s hospitals. We know we can rely on the Air Force to provide us those transportation assets,” he said.
Just like in a real world situation the scenario had unexpected but welcomed challenges.
“We were expecting two patients and we received four patients,” said Sloan.”That added flavor to the exercise, but everything went really well. Everyone learned a lot,” he said.
USNH Yokosuka is the largest U.S. military treatment facility on mainland Japan. The hospital provided 233,308 outpatient visits in 2012.
Naval Today Staff, March 1, 2013; Image: US Navy