U.S. Soldiers validate quick reaction skills
Ferizaj/Urosevac, Kosovo – U.S. Soldiers from Multinational Battle Group East were tested on their Quick Reaction Force skills during a validation exercise, Jan. 7.
The scenario for this exercise had a vehicle carrying two KFOR soldiers and their interpreter lost control and struck a sign near Ferizaj/Urosevac. Two individuals were injured and the other was killed.
The exercise is performed every time a new unit takes over QRF responsibilities. “It’s the QRF’s job to react to any situation throughout our (area of operation),” said 1st Lt. Luis Lugo, former battle captain, now with Joint Law Enforcement Liaison Office, MNBG E, and a member of the Puerto Rico National Guard. “The validation is to ensure that all the separate pieces, battle desk, (liaison officer), medevac, and everything in between, are all working together.”
Once the accident is reported the battle desk notifies the QRF of the situation and the QRF deploys.
“Once the QRF gets to the location they arrive and assess the situation, and take appropriate measures,” said 1st Lt. Whesley Sepulveda, Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico, exercise planner, MNBG E also a member of the Puerto Rico National Guard.
“When the QRF arrived they starting directing traffic, to make sure no accidents occurred and they assessed the injured individuals,” said Lugo, Hormigueros, Puerto Rico.
The QRF Soldiers, who are members of the 1st Battalion, 296th Infantry, removed the injured individuals from the vehicle and loaded them into am M998 Humvee ambulance and were medically evacuated to Camp Bondsteel.
“Once the injuries are assessed the medics decide which would be the most appropriate way to remove the injured. Either they call for an air medevac, which would be one of the (UH-60) Black Hawks on Camp Bondsteel, or a ground medevac, which would be the ambulance on scene,” said Sepulveda.
As the injured individuals were evacuated the military police officers from the 544th Military Police Company, MNGB E, arrived to investigate the simulated accident.
“The MP’s job is to take photos of the scene and look for skid marks and debris to tell them how or why the accident occurred,” said Lugo. “They need to determine if the fault lies with the driver or somewhere else. It’s pretty impressive watching them work.”
Once the MPs finished with their inspection the QRF Soldiers got into their Humvees and returned to Camp Bondsteel, another mission successfully completed.
“The QRF guys did a great job,” said Maj. Erick Vega, event planner, MNBG E. “They arrived incredibly quick and immediately went to work. They didn’t waste any time in assessing the casualties or getting them into the ambulance. They did a tremendous job on this exercise, everyone participating did.”
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