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Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting Marines with the Camp Dwyer Detachment of Marine Wing Support Squadron 373 hose down the emergency site during the detachment’s mass casualty drill at Camp Dwyer, Helmand province, Afghanistan, Jan. 27. The detachment teamed up with civilian paramedics here and the Army’s 115th Combat Support Hospital to practice responding to an artillery strike. The training scenario involved approximately 20 casualties. Responders provided immediate care, set up a triage and transported injured personnel to the Camp Dwyer CSH for further treatment.

Photo by Sgt. Jesse Stence

Deployed squadron refines disaster response during mass casualty drill

27 Jan 2011 | Sgt. Jesse Stence

Marine Wing Support Squadron 373, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (Forward) put the Marine Corps slogan “Always Ready” to the test during a mass casualty evacuation drill here Jan. 27.

The Camp Dwyer detachment of MWSS-373 teamed up with civilian paramedics here and the Army’s 115th Combat Support Hospital to practice responding to an artillery strike.

The training scenario involved approximately 20 casualties. Responders provided immediate care, set up a triage and transported injured personnel to the Camp Dwyer CSH for further treatment.

The drill also included the detachment’s Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting Marines, who rushed to the notional emergency scene in fire trucks. After unleashing their fire hose, they practiced extricating Marines from wrecked vehicles.

“The Marines have been training throughout the four or five months we’ve been out here,” said Capt. Patrick Dimoh, the detachment’s executive officer.

“When we gelled everyone together, it showed exactly how the Marines would operate … when there is friction,” said Dimoh, a native of Brooklyn, N.Y.

Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Jeromy Ortega, the independent duty corpsman with the MWSS-373 detachment, said the training offered a unique opportunity to work with outside agencies, such as Dwyer’s civilian paramedics. Participating personnel familiarized themselves with each other’s methods and terminology, improving coordination in case of a real emergency, he said.

Ortega, from San Antonio, Texas, added that training is continuous, even during the detachment’s hectic deployment schedule. For most of the detachment, the schedule is 12 hours on, 12 hours off.

“If we don’t continue to train them, they won’t continue to improve,” Ortega said.