AL QA'IM, Iraq --
Service members and Department of Defense employees visit the Morale Welfare and Recreation Center here every day to take advantage of a variety of activities provided. The center is considered a place to relax and deal with the tribulations of being deployed to a combat zone.
However, the MWR Center became a hive of activity on May 30 when a mass casualty drill was conducted that involved a mock indirect fire onto the MWR Center.
The Warlords of Task Force 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marines, Regimental Combat Team 5, conducted the drill to keep sailors and Marines on their toes.
“There hasn’t been an attack on the base for quite some time now, and that can lead to complacency,” said Chief Petty Officer Daryl Rice, the medical chief, with 2nd Bn., 2nd Marines. “We are testing the response
time of everyone on the base.”
The Marines and sailors involved with the exercise received a planned situation to overcome, in this case, an indirect fire attack on the MWR Center.
“Every individual knew their role in the scenario, they just didn’t know exactly what the scenario consisted of,” said Navy Lt. David Klimaski, the battalion’s medical officer. “We had Marines designated as litter bearers and the people involved would be the ones to respond to an actual attack.”
Mock casualties carried a note card with a written description of injuries sustained during the blasts. The teams of Marines and sailors who arrived on scene used the cards to determine the condition and priority of individuals regarding their need for medical attention.
“They figured out who needed to be taken immediately to the Shock Trauma Platoon for serious injuries or the (Battalion Aid Station) for minor injuries,” Rice said.
If they dealt with an actual attack, the casualties who sustained serious wounds could be evacuated to a hospital by helicopter if necessary. No Warlord took the helicopter ride that day, but if an attack does occur, these Marines and sailors have trained to expediently take their brothers in arms to safety.