SOUDA BAY, Crete – Service members from Algeria, Greece, Morocco, Turkey and the U.S. teamed up aboard the guided-missile frigate USS Simpson (FFG 56) to conduct a mass casualty drill in support of Exercise Phoenix Express 2012 (PE12) in Souda Bay, Crete, May 18.
The exercise gave participants the opportunity to demonstrate medical techniques they learned during earlier PE12 training. Participants were required to treat simulated injuries under the supervision of senior medical officers from each country.
“This kind of drill allows the participants the opportunity to put into practice skills learned during the classroom phase of training, including patient triage which means sorting casualties into groups based on their immediate medical needs,” said Cmdr. John Quigley, PE12 senior medical officer. “This training provides valuable skills that can be used during an immediate life-threatening situation.”
During the drill, multinational medical officers observed and graded participating service members in a variety of areas including procedure and techniques.
“My job was to make sure the right procedures were followed and that everyone was getting the right prognosis,” said Algerian navy Capt. Larbi Boudjada, a drill observer.
Maritime partners who participated in the drill felt that the entire experience was a valuable learning opportunity that will be beneficial during future operations.
“We’re in this together and each country helps toward a common goal,” said Army Staff Sgt. Catie Cejka, a reservist with the 396th Combat Support Hospital. “It’s good to know the countries involved have the critical training to keep people alive if the need arises.”
The mass casualty drill marked the end of PE12’s land training, as participating ships prepare to get underway to begin the next phase.
PE12, a multinational maritime exercise between Southern European, North African and U.S. Naval forces, is designed to improve cooperation among participating nations and help increase safety and security in the Mediterranean Sea.
Participating countries in PE12 include Algeria, Croatia, Egypt, Greece, Italy, Libya, Morocco, Spain, Tunisia, Turkey and the United States.