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Keesler participates in Ready Eagle exercise

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Kimberly L. Mueller
  • 81st Training Wing Public Affairs

The 81st Training Wing Inspection Team hosted a full-scale Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear exercise for base personnel here, Aug. 2-6.

The exercise was a collaboration between the 81st TRW and the 81st Medical Group to integrate the 81st TRW’s annual exercise with the medical Ready Eagle training exercise. Ready Eagle consisted of functional exercises and hands-on drills to increase the skill, proficiency and coordination between organizations within the wing.

“The exercise allowed the Keesler Disaster Response Force to respond to a simulated attack causing chemical release and mass casualties,” said Matthew Jalufka, 81st MDG medical emergency manager. “Ensuring that Keesler’s Disaster Response Force is quick, efficient and effective to an all-hazard event maximizes the ability to save lives, protect property and restore the mission.”

During the exercise, simulated explosions took place at three separate locations resulting in over 40 Airmen acting as victims for the scenario. The victims were dressed in moulage to add a sense of realism to the exercise in addition to the medics wearing the equipment they would wear in response to a real world situation.

“We did not simulate a lot of the medical care items such as tourniquets, bandages and so on,” said Matthew Schilling, Booz Allen Hamilton medical readiness exercise facilitator. “Exercise participants went through the full process of putting the equipment on in the proper manner. The more they practice and do those actions, the better they're going to be in an actual incident.”

By the end of fiscal year 2021, approximately 50 bases from across every major command will have participated in the week-long medical readiness exercise.

“It's been seen throughout a number of training studies that muscle memory for these life-saving skills is imperative, especially when you're in a very high-stress environment,” said Schilling. “If we didn't get to train and exercise these skills and work together as a team, it would certainly impact our ability to respond in a real world event.”