Photo Information

Reconnaissance Marine Sgt. Richard Eldemire calls in a CH-46E Sea Knight with Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 268 (Reinforced) aboard USS Makin Island (LHD 8) Jan. 5 during a casualty-evacuation drill. Eldemire, 31, hails from Kingston, Jamaica and serves as an assistant team leader with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit's Battalion Landing Team 3/1. The unit is currently deployed aboard the amphibious assault ship as part of the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group (MKIARG), which is a U.S. Central Command theater reserve force. The group is also providing support for maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.

Photo by Sgt. Elyssa Quesada

Recon Marines, sailor conduct casualty-evacuation drills

5 Jan 2012 | Sgt. Elyssa Quesada 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit

Reconnaissance Marines and a corpsman with Battalion Landing Team 3/1, 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, participated in a casualty-evacuation drill aboard USS Makin Island (LHD-8) here Jan. 5 supported by a CH-46E Sea Knight from Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 268 (Reinforced).

The drill built confidence and prepared team members to care for a casualty and return him safely to the ship, said platoon sergeant Gunnery Sgt. Lawrence T. O’Connor.

“Rehearsing as a team is important because we want everyone to come back alive,” said Cpl. Ryan Finn. “We operate in small teams, and knowing the corpsman’s job allows us to take care of each other and provide aid when needed.”

Finn, 24, who hails from Prague, serves as a team medic.

Groups sustained simulated casualties, and each had 30 minutes to assess the patient, provide buddy aid, call in air support for an evacuation, and provide extended care while traveling in a CH-46E Sea Knight before landing aboard Makin Island.

“It was a good opportunity for them to train under a stressful environment,” said O’Connor. “It opened up their eyes to realities they could face on a battlefield.”

Wounded team members wore makeup to give the training a sense of realism. Team medics tended to simulated amputated limbs, chest wounds and gunshot wounds while team members called in back-up and provided security.

“Overall, the training was successful,” said Cpl. Peter Matlock. “We were able to build more trust within the team and the medical field. We always train for the worst because if our medic or corpsman were to become a casualty, we can fill their spot and provide aid for the injured.”

Matlock, 22, who hails from San Francisco, serves as radio operator and provides security for the battalion.

The Camp Pendleton-, Calif., based unit deployed from San Diego Nov. 14 aboard USS Makin Island, USS New Orleans, and USS Pearl Harbor for a regularly scheduled deployment.

The 11th MEU is currently deployed as part of the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group (MKIARG) as the U.S. Central Command theater reserve force, also providing support for maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.

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