MARINE CORPS AIR STATION YUMA, Ariz. -- The Assault Support Tactics exercise, an event in the curriculum of Weapons and Tactics Instructor course 1-15, was conducted by Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron One at Kiwanis Park in Yuma, Ariz., Oct. 10, 2014.
The annual exercise offers the local community an opportunity to witness the military’s crisis response capabilities, and build an appreciation for their resident service members.
The biannual AST exercise has been a critical component during WTI, including a massive casualty care and evacuation drill, which trains pilots, aircrews, and medical personnel on actions during a disaster recovery.
During both 2014 AST iterations, the simulated casualties received facelifts from theater students with Yuma’s Arizona Western College, providing a stronger sense of reality to the training Navy corpsmen complete during WTI.
A recent series of efforts from the MAWTS-1 medical clinic has yielded this renovation in the training evolution.
“It started out as notional casualties – dummies and role players that our medical staff would provide care to while using their imaginations,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Robert Johnson of MAWTS-1. “As our training has evolved over the years, it has required more in-depth wounds, so, in the past, we’ve requested an injury kit.”
Johnson and his staff began communicating with AWC this past spring to upgrade the casualties’ authenticity. Based on the results the staff has seen, they won’t be looking back anytime soon.
“[The wounds] make the medical staff respond more aggressively – as they would in a real situation when they first get to the scene, versus seeing a wound, or lack of, that they have to pretend is real,” explained Johnson. “It enhances their ability to see the wound for what it is … It creates almost like a gut instinct and gets their thought processes firing.”