SATTAHIP, Thailand -- U.S. Marines, Sailors and Thai military members joined forces to conduct chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear response training for exercise Cobra Gold 2015 Feb. 16, 2015 at Camp Samaesan, Kingdom of Thailand.
The training consisted of a scenario in which 10 Royal Thai Marines acted as casualties to a radioactive attack. U.S. and Thai military members worked quickly to bring the casualties to a decontamination checkpoint. Once decontaminated, the casualties were examined and given medical attention.
While CBRN response is usually associated with military operations, it’s also valuable for any kind of accident that may contain contamination, said Sgt. Samuel Branson, a CBRN specialist with Marine Aircraft Group 12, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing.
"A prime example of radioactive contamination that everyone knows about was the Fukushima nuclear plant," said Branson. "The ability of the personnel to respond to that call and clean it up as quickly as possible prevented a lot of radiation from spreading and causing additional problems."
The scenario acted as a culminating event after a week of classes and training.
The Thai military members attended medical classes lead by U.S. Navy corpsmen as well as classes to expand their knowledge about assessing CBRN scenes and developing training scenarios.
The Thai military members also learned the importance of efficiency and thoroughness when taking care of casualties, said Hospital Corpsman Angelayana Henry, a MAG 12 Headquarters squadron corpsman.
"It's a really challenging feat taking care of injured people who are contaminated with radiation," Henry said. "You have to make sure they are fully decontaminated to prevent others from becoming contaminated, but you also need to move quickly because that person may have a life-threatening injury that needs to be treated."
Cobra Gold is an annual training exercise designed to improve international relationships and create more effective security and operation protocols.