The Air Dominance Center, Savannah, Ga., March 29, 2017 – Members of the Georgia State Defense Force (GA SDF), Georgia Air National Guard (GA ANG), Georgia Army National Guard (GA ARNG), Georgia Department of Public Health (GA DPH), Georgia Disaster Assessment Response Team (DART), Emergency Medical Services (EMS) units, Georgia Emergency Management & Homeland Security Agency (GEMA/HS) and Youth Challenge Academy cadets participated in Mobile Surge Hospital Full Scale Exercise, which is a part of a multi-state training exercise – Vigilant Guard 2017, sponsored by U.S. Northern Command, in collaboration with the National Guard Bureau.
The objectives of the exercise were outlined as follows: evaluating the existing response procedures during the catastrophic disasters; to grow the partnership among healthcare organizations, emergency responders, GA SDF, GA ANG, GA ARNG; and to identify areas for improvement.
During the exercise, Lt. Col. Michael Greene, Capt. Lee Duncan and Sgt. Jonathan Melko were assigned to lead the GA SDF Task Force in setting up, running and conducting the security of the Mobile Surge Hospital.
GA SDF Command Surgeon Col. John S. Harvey, who is also a Medical Director of the Medial Reserve Corps, GA DPH, was leading the joint State Medical Assessment Team. GA ANG supported the mission with the airlift by fixed and rotary wings.
GA SDF soldiers assembled the Mobile Surge Hospital at Air Dominance Center (ADC). The Medical Assessment Team and GA SDF Task Force (Medics, Communications, Force Protection and Public Affairs) arrived to ADC from the Dobbins Air Reserve Base (DARB), Marietta, GA by C-130 Hercules aircraft. The Mobile Surge Hospital contains the following sections: Triage, Medical, Trauma and a designated area for overflow patients, as well as an area for health and safety officers.
Youth Challenge Academy cadets were acting as casualties of the disaster. Victims (role players) were delivered by UH-60 Black Hawk Helicopters from the “disaster” area in Tybee Island. Upon arrival to the Mobile Surge Hospital, victims were triaged by the Medical Assessment Team in order to determine the required medical care and distributed to the appropriate section of the hospital for stabilization.
Pfc. Sullivan and Pfc. Cowan were responsible for setting up and running a communications station at the Mobile Surge Hospital exercise area and establishing the line with Vigilant Guard exercise Mobile Operation Center (MOC) in Marietta, GA.
The following observers visited the Mobile Surge Hospital exercise area during the training and observed a dedication, selflessness and excellent team work within the participants.
Maj. Gen. Burton Francisco, Special Assistant to Commander of NORAD, NORTHCOM,
Maj. Gen. Joe Jarrard, Adjutant General, Georgia Department of Defense,
Brig. Gen. Jesse T. Simmons, Jr., Commander, Georgia Air National Guard,
Brig. Gen. Thomas Carden, Jr., Commander, Georgia Army National Guard.
“During the Mobile Surge Hospital Full Scale Exercise members of multiple agencies were working together in realistic scenario,” – said Col. John S. Harvey – “such training will guarantee that a job will be done well if a real disaster should happen.”