MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- Sailors with 2nd Medical Battalion tested their ability to work under pressure during a tactical combat casualty care exercise at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, Feb. 12.
The exercise serves as an annual requirement for corpsmen that may deploy in support of 2nd Marine Logistics Group operations.
Companies Alpha and Bravo of the battalion gathered inside of a warehouse to undergo a simulation that required them to split into fire teams. From there, they located and treated training dummies with a variety of combat injuries.
Prior to beginning the exercise, instructors had sailors complete a series of physical training events to induce mild fatigue and then rolled right into their mission.
"These sailors are going through a realistic tactical medicine course that enhances and enables them to utilize the skill sets they already have," said Petty Officer 2nd Class Cameron Hudson, a TCCC instructor. "It is set up to physically and mentally stress our sailors in order to have them adapt and overcome austere conditions."
Sailors also faced mental obstacles as they made their way through smoke and competed with the loud sounds of gunfire and explosions in their efforts to communicate.
"I'm coming from a hospital so this is a different environment for me," said Seaman Cameron Alexander, a hospitalman with the company. "This exercise has made me confident about tactical combat casualty care."
The extent of the injuries sailors had to treat included penetrating chest trauma, shrapnel penetration, amputation, airway obstructions and facial trauma.
"Some of the senior corpsmen have done this many times, and so they lead the way for those doing this for the first time," Alexander said.
Sailors concluded the exercise by evacuating their patients on stretchers and completing a nine-line medical evacuation request.
“This was a worst-case scenario exercise and sailors had to work quickly with the tools they had to be successful,” Hudson said. “The key thing for our sailors is to have them learn from their mistakes in a training environment so they are successful in treating a real patient.”