Sept 06, 2013 -- OJOJIHARA MANEUVER AREA, Japan - Marines and sailors with Battery C, 3rd Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment, participated in a medical evacuation drill Aug. 31 as part of Artillery Relocation Training Program 13-2 at the Ojojihara Maneuver Area in Miyagi prefecture, Japan.
The drill prepared the service members for possible medical emergencies that may occur and familiarized them with the procedures to move a casualty safely and efficiently to the next level of care if needed.
The ARTP promotes regional stability and security by allowing units stationed on Okinawa to maintain their ability to support III Marine Expeditionary Force’s role in the U.S-Japan Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security. ARTP also helps sustain unit proficiency in all weapons systems used by artillery units.
“We need to be able to instinctively respond to a situation,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Evan Hershey, a hospital corpsman with the battery. “Time is very critical, from when the injury happens up to when we (stabilize) the patient.”
The training required coordination between the battery, Japan Defense Bureau personnel and Japan Ground Self-Defense Forces.
“We can’t do it all on our own,” said Chief Petty Officer Sandra Go-Lubiano, the senior enlisted medical member with the battalion. “This is a team effort. We have to rely on the Marines, our corpsmen’s skills and our Japanese counterparts. If we’re not in sync, then we’ll fail as a group.”
Casualty evacuation training helps everyone understand their role and how they can improve in the event of an actual casualty situation.
“This gives us an opportunity to see our strengths and weaknesses,” said Go-Lubiano. “By doing the drills, we can become more familiar with our surroundings and smooth-out any discrepancies in the plan, so we are ready to take care of the Marines.”
As the procedure became second nature, the Marines and corpsmen moved more quickly, improving the chances of the casualties receiving effective treatment, according to Go-Lubiano. The importance of rapidity cannot be stressed enough.
“When it comes to saving a life, every second counts,” said Go-Lubiano. “As time goes on, you could be losing blood, your risk for brain damage increases, as well as the risk to limbs or eyesight.”
Although the battery and battalion staff put a great deal of effort into the training, there is always room for improvement, according to Go-Lubiano. But she feels her staff is up to the task.
“I know our corpsmen have the heart and initiative to take care of our Marines,” said Go-Lubiano.