The U.S. Air Force, U.S. Marine Corps and British soldiers conduct Exercise Black Lion and Caduceus in support of Atlantic Resolve, an enduring training exercise between NATO and U.S. Forces, August 16, 2018.
U.S. and NATO forces work together as a cohesive unit to execute a downed aircraft search and rescue mission with one European fighter providing close air support and two black hawks providing security and transportation for the medical team.
The words “Medic!” echoes across the field as multiple simulated casualties lay on the ground in agony from their wounds. Moment’s later two black hawks touch down next to the simulated crash site and many U.S. Marines and British soldiers file out and rush to the casualties aid.
U.S. Marine and British medics quickly administer aid to the simulated casualties and complete the nine-line medevac.
The Joint Terminal Attack Controllers are also an essential component of the training exercise. The JTAC’s operate on the ground and are essentially the eyes and the ears providing guidance to nearby air support.
“We advise and assist the ground commander… and do terminal guidance by controlling the aircraft regarding routes and sites on targets,” said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Brandon Tatum, the battalion air liaison officer attached to 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division.
Multiple elements such as ground support, tactical air support, communication and medical personnel all operate as a collective to ensure their forces are prepared to quickly and efficiently respond to a mass casualty event.
Ensuring the safety of service members and having the most to date training in the case of any event is crucial, especially when a Soldier’s or Marine’s life is on the line.
“It is important to integrate British soldiers into this training exercise because it promotes interoperability and builds NATO relationships,” said U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Craig Meree, the BN Air Officer for the JTAC with the Black Sea Rotational Force 18.1 from 1st BN, 6th Marines.