MIDDLE RIVER, Md. - An ambulance arrives with screams from inside
that drown out the sirens. A woman fills the air with sounds of
terror. Inside the tent, the energy is high and people begin to run
and shout commands in an effort to quickly treat the injured
Soldier. The back doors fly open and medics pull out the stretcher.
Four personnel rush the woman to the triage section of the
make-shift hospital. The diagnosis ... a gun shot wound to the abdomen
with lacerations to her arms and legs. This is how the Mass Casualty
training exercise begins.
Members of the 104th Area Support Medical Company conduct routine and emergent medical care during training missions on Warfield Air National Guard Base in Middle River, Md., Aug. 1, 2015. The ASMC trains to establish a fully functional Role II Medical Treatment Facility as part of the unit's annual training. (Photo by Army National Guard Spc. Allen Griffith)
The MASCAL exercise took place at Warfield Air National
Guard Base in Middle River, Maryland. It ran from July 23,
2015, until Aug. 7, 2015, as part of the Maryland National
Guard's 104th Area Support Medical Company's annual
Army Maj. William Fox, 104th ASMC commander
and Maryland deputy state surgeon, said he saw the need for
the unit to work in a joint service environment, so he
started planning this training with the 175th Wing over a
year ago, well before the Baltimore protests. At the time of
the protests in April 2015, the 104th ASMC was already at an
80 percent fully ready status.
“We have a common goal
to support the state of Maryland in disaster response. In
coming here, we're establishing a collaborative work
environment,” said Fox.
Warfield ANG Base is set as a
Joint Reception, Staging, Onward movement and Integration
site, which would handle all movement into and out of a
national emergency operation. With the help of the 10th
Regiment from the Maryland Defense Force, C-169th Aviation
Regiment and the 175th Wing, this exercise will help
soldiers and airmen understand their roles and improve their
readiness if the need arises.
Army Maj. Matthew Miskimon, 104th ASMC lead field surgeon, said,
“The mission here is to operate a Medical Treatment Facility and
this is the first time we're able to get the entire unit to
participate. We're learning together how to accomplish that goal.”
Members of the 104th Area Support Medical Company conduct casualty evacuation training with a C-130H2 aircraft on Warfield Air National Guard Base in Middle River, Md., Aug. 2, 2015. The ASMC trains to establish a fully functional Role II Medical Treatment Facility as part of the unit's annual training. (Photo by Army National Guard Spc. Allen Griffith)
Fox said he wanted the MASCAL exercise to be completely
isolated from the rest of the base. In an effort to be
self-sustained and create no impact on the Air Force base,
all meals were created on-site, they brought their own
showers and bathroom facilities, slept in tents and brought
in water with their own trucks. This ensures that the unit
would be able to maintain operations anywhere, in any
Through simulated medical scenarios, 1st
Army, 4th Calvary Soldiers evaluated the 104th ASMC's
Mission Essential Task List, which will show their higher
headquarters they are ready for real-world missions. By
training in emergency medical treatment, ground ambulance
evacuations and casualty evacuations with Black Hawk
helicopters, the medical company is prepared to support up
to 5,000 service members in self-sustainable emergency
medical urgent care.
addition to scenario-based training, the unit is also
providing real-world medical support during the exercise.
The 70th Training Regiment from Camp Fretterd Military
Reservation conducted phase three of Officer Candidate
School with the support of the 104th's ambulances and
medical care. The ambulance personnel provided 24-hour
support for two locations with times available to treat
officers in the morning and evening.
than just needles and stretchers available here. Other
resources include dental, behavioral health, social work,
X-rays and a laboratory. They all work together to assist
each patient with the best care possible.
Stafford Conley, Army dentist on loan from the Maryland
State Medical Detachment, says that half the people he sees
are anxious when they come to him for treatment and that
allows him to hear more than he expects.
nervous and just starts talking about personal stuff,” said
One Soldier came in to get his cavity filled,
but as Conley listened to his problems, he realized this
Soldier needed to talk to the behavioral health provider as
This year the 104th ASMC was in the field, but
next summer they are planning to spend their annual training
in a hospital on Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Their unit
status report is only good for a year, so next year 1st Army
will be there again to evaluate and rate their readiness.
By Army National Guard SSgt. Mitchell Miller
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