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48th MDG concludes realistic exercise

A 48th Medical Group wing inspection team member evaluates Airmen performing medical procedures during an annual training exercise at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, March 21, 2018. The 48th MDG is required to conduct annual training exercises to maintain proficiency. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Christopher S. Sparks)

A 48th Medical Group Airman resuscitates a volunteer with simulated injuries during an annual training exercise at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, March 21, 2018. Most sections of the hospital participated in this training, including the emergency room and surgical section. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Christopher S. Sparks)

48th Medical Group Airmen perform simulated medical procedures while being evaluated during an annual training exercise at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, March 21, 2018. During the exercise more than 20 Airmen volunteered to be patients with simulated injuries. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Christopher S. Sparks)

48th Medical Group Airmen assist a volunteer with simulated injuries during an annual training exercise at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, March 21, 2018. During the exercise the Airmen were tasked with responding to mass casualty and chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive scenarios. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Christopher S. Sparks)

48th Medical Group Airmen decontaminate a simulated patient during an annual training exercise at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, March 21, 2018. During the exercise, patients were required to go through decontamination before entering the hospital. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Christopher S. Sparks)

48th Medical Group Airmen discuss decontamination procedures during an annual training exercise at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, March 21, 2018. This exercise was the final part of a two-part series which began Feb. 21, 2018. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Christopher S. Sparks)

A volunteer with simulated injuries waits for treatment during an annual training exercise at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, March 21, 2018. The patients with simulated injuries processed through a decontamination tent before entering the hospital for treatment. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Christopher S. Sparks)

A 48th Medical Group Airman evaluates a simulated patient during an annual training exercise at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, March 21, 2018. During this training exercise medical staff were placed in a variety of high-stress scenarios involving patients with different degrees of injuries. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Christopher S. Sparks)

ROYAL AIR FORCE LAKENHEATH, England -- When disaster strikes, most people only see the carnage of the initial attack. Rarely does anyone see the controlled chaos that takes place in the hospital during the aftermath.

This is the scenario the 48th Medical Group is focused on during a continued field training exercise featuring a mass-casualty chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive scenario conducted here March 21.

The first part of the exercise was conducted Feb. 21 and focused on the initial CBRNE response the 48th MDG and the 48th Bioenvironmental Flight responded to the scenario where they were tasked to work together to triage patients, transport them to the hospital and identify any radiological threats.

“The first exercise in February incorporated more of a field response team,” said Maj. Krystal LaBonte, 48th MDG officer in charge of the outpatient pharmacy and co-lead of the wing inspection team. “This exercise utilized all of the teams within the medical group.”

Picking up where the previous training scenario left off, the 48th MDG began taking patients into the hospital for treatment once they arrived from the initial scene.

Soon the area was packed with patients with simulated injuries and medical personnel rushing to provide assistance. On the perimeter, evaluators intently monitored each of the movements and decisions of the 48th MDG Airmen.

“This exercise was to evaluate how we would do in a real world response,” said Tech. Sgt. Melanie Whiting, the 48th MDG clinical laboratory and pathology flight chief. “So when situations like this do happen, we can do what we’re here to do, which is to take care of the patients and ensure they survive.”

As the patients arrived, they were evaluated by triage and hospital security teams then sent to the decontamination tent. Once decontaminated, they were evaluated on the severity of their injuries.

From there they were admitted to the hospital where they were categorized and dispersed to various sections depending on their injuries.

“We haven’t gone full spectrum like this in a very long time,” LaBonte said. “Everyone knew their role and everyone knew the role they played was significant. The communication across the board was very impressive.”

Nearly every department of the hospital was involved in the exercise and had their own set of objectives to complete while also working as a team.