Sept 05, 2013 -- AICHI, Japan - U.S. Marines, soldiers and Navy corpsmen worked together to evacuate simulated casualties while conducting improvised explosive device training at Rodriguez Live-Fire Complex Aug. 18 during Korean Marine Exchange Program 13-8.
KMEP 13-8, a combined annual training exercise that enhances the combat readiness and interoperability of Republic of Korea and U.S. Marine Corps forces, is just one in a series of continuous, combined training exercises designed to enhance the alliance, promote stability on the Korean Peninsula, and strengthen ROK and U.S. military capabilities.
While the ROK Marines did not participate in the training, members of their medical staff observed from a distance as the U.S. military conducted the training.
The U.S. Marines and sailors conducted IED lanes in which members of the patrol became casualties when the simulated IEDs detonated. Once injured, the corpsmen rushed to facilitate the injured while calling-in a medical evacuation to U.S. soldiers.
The soldiers, flying in a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter configured for medical evacuation, flew to the landing zone and worked with the Marines and sailors to evacuate the casualties.
“The most important thing about this is the joint service training everyone receives,” said U.S. Army 1st Lt. Garrett W. Kuipers, an aeromedical evacuation officer with Company C, 3rd General Aviation Support Battalion, 2nd Aviation Regiment, 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division. “Prior to going live with the training we spun the Marines and sailors up on our medical capabilities, the capabilities of our helicopter, and we worked to bridge the gap between the ways different services communicate medically.”
The training provided an opportunity for all three branches of service to prepare work together for future contingencies, according to U.S. Navy Lt. Suraj Trivedi, the battalion surgeon for 3rd Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force.
“While this was great training for everyone involved, it was especially good for my corpsmen,” said Trivedi. “The bottom line is these corpsmen are the first line of medical care for Marines in battle, and we train them to take charge in situations that dictate medical care. I was extremely impressed with the way they performed under pressure and how they executed their medical tasks.”
For the Marines participating in the training, it provided an opportunity to conduct tasks not associated with their military occupational specialty.
“Even though our trade is artillery, our profession is being Marines,” said Capt. Christopher M. Cotton, the commanding officer of India Battery, 3rd Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment, currently assigned to 12th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, under the unit deployment program. “Like all Marines, we are subject to combat at any time and need to always be ready for any situation that may occur.”
KMEP 13-8 is conducted in the spirit of the ROK-U.S. Mutual Defense Treaty signed between the two countries on Oct. 1, 1953.
The exercise underlines the enduring alliance and friendship between the two nations and their combined commitment to the defense of the ROK and peace and security in the region.