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Soldiers Hone Skills During Mass Casualty Exercise
by U.S. Army Sgt. Thomas Mort
August 21, 2019

Four Soldiers from 101st Brigade Support Battalion, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, scurry toward a medical triage area carrying a litter, indicating the start of an internal battalion level Mass Casualty exercise (MASCAL) at Skwierzyna, Poland on May 19, 2019.

Soldiers throughout the battalion participated in the MASCAL training exercise in order to hone their skills and ensure they are prepared for future missions and exercises.

May 15, 2019 - Soldiers from 101st Brigade Support Battalion, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, assess and treat a simulated patient in the medical triage area during an internal battalion level Mass Casualty exercise (MASCAL) at Skwierzyna, Poland. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Thomas Mort)
May 15, 2019 - Soldiers from 101st Brigade Support Battalion, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, assess and treat a simulated patient in the medical triage area during an internal battalion level Mass Casualty exercise (MASCAL) at Skwierzyna, Poland. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Thomas Mort)

“Our focus as a battalion was to see how that would look with all the brand new people that we have, to be prepared for the brigade exercise [Combined Resolve] coming up,” said Capt. Danielle Macfarland, charlie company commander, 101st BSB, 1st ABCT, 1st Inf. Div. “A MASCAL can happen anytime, anywhere, to anyone. We need to be prepared to react.”

A MASCAL is generally initiated when the medical facility is overwhelmed by the number of incoming casualties. The role 2 medical facility used for this exercise contained a total of two treatment beds.

Today we’re going to go ahead and practice our MASCAL procedures,” said Sgt. John Soto, a combat medic specialist and role 2 non-commissioned officer in charge, 101st BSB, 1st ABCT, 1st Inf. Div. “A MASCAL is just whenever you get a mass of casualties.”

During the course of the exercise, the battalion would first receive simulated casualties, carry them by litter to the triage area, and then to a two bed trauma bay for further evaluation and treatment. After receiving treatment in the trauma bay, the patient(s) would be evacuated by medical humvee or taken to the patient holding tent.

May 15, 2019 - Medical personnel from 101st Brigade Support Battalion, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, assess and treat a simulated patient in the trauma bay during an internal battalion level Mass Casualty exercise (MASCAL) at Skwierzyna, Poland. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Thomas Mort)
May 15, 2019 - Medical personnel from 101st Brigade Support Battalion, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, assess and treat a simulated patient in the trauma bay during an internal battalion level Mass Casualty exercise (MASCAL) at Skwierzyna, Poland. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Thomas Mort)

“What we're going to be using out here is the triage area, the trauma bay, our evac assets, along with patient hold,” explained Soto. “We also have the capability of doing x ray, dental, lab [and] physical therapy.”

The 101st role 2 facility also has treatment areas for optometry, operational stress control and mental health. As part of their training, medics also learn how to set up the facility in the proper order.

“The overall goal of today’s exercise is to show everyone in the battalion how much participation is really involved in a MASCAL exercise, it’s not just one company, it’s really all hands on deck,” said Macfarland.

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The Devil Brigade is part of more than 6,000 U.S. regionally-allocated Soldiers in Germany, Bulgaria, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Romania, on a nine-month rotation, in support of Atlantic Resolve. Atlantic Resolve provides ready, combat-credible forces through multinational training and security cooperation activities.

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