Exercise Maroon Surge trains in crisis scenario response

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Ariel Leighty
  • 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
In an effort to advance combat readiness, the 86th Medical Group conducted Exercise Maroon Surge on Ramstein Air Base, Germany, June 4 through June 11.

“The exercise prepares our medical members to respond quickly and efficiently in a real-world mass casualty situation,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Zoya Lee-Zerkel, 86th MDG Expeditionary Medical Support commander. “Airmen practice using their surgical capabilities, setting up mobile medical sites, and safely moving patients from one area to another.”

Exercise participants included 86th MDG, U.S. Army Soldiers from the 435th Field Hospital and 411th Hospital Center, German Armed Forces Medical Unit, 86th Logistics Readiness Squadron, Regional Health Command Europe, and five members of the Croatian Armed Forces who attended as NATO observers to train in mass casualty evacuation concepts and joint training in order to strengthen ties with service members outside of the Air Force.

Croatian Armed Forces Lt. Col. Ruzica Ravic-Kevric, head of medical support for logistics command, said the CAF is here to observe and use this exercise as a learning experience to examine how to build up medical treatment facilities and strengthen relations and camaraderie with our allies. 

Maroon Surge, a week-long exercise, showcased the medical operation procedures required during a crisis situation.

“Maroon Surge is an 86th MDG evacuation and care exercise to conduct joint training,” said U.S Air Force Capt. Ricardo Aldahondo, 86th MDG Resource Management Flight commander. “The exercise allows us to test our skills, speed, and cooperation between multiple nations and branches of service in a mass casualty scenario.”

Aldahondo said the main scenario of the exercise is building and operating Expeditionary Medical Support Systems (EMEDS) that are capable of supporting a mass casualty event where primary facilities become inoperable and patients are evacuated for further treatment.

During the mass casualty exercise, a German medical unit in Koblenz responded to the KMC to support joint response in incident command, patient movements, and medical care, Aldahonda explained.

“This is first time Ramstein Air Base hosted Exercise Maroon Surge. It’s great to see how well the exercises have gone and to see everyone from different branches and nations working together,” Lee-Zerkel said.