Photo Information

Hospital corpsmen lift a simulated casualty into M997 ambulance during a casualty evacuation drill at Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, Okinawa, Japan Dec. 8, 2015. The casevac course is two weeks long and gives the students a better understanding of what it means to be a corpsman. The corpsmen are with various units with III Marine Expeditionary Force.

Photo by Cpl. Ryan C. Mains

Casualties inbound: Corpsmen participate in casualty evacuation course

11 Dec 2015 | Cpl. Ryan Mains The Official United States Marine Corps Public Website

Marines and sailors with various units with III Marine Expeditionary Force participated in a casualty evacuation drill Dec. 7, 2015 at Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, Okinawa, Japan.


Starting off the day, the students attended CASEVACS classes. Following that, the hospital corpsmen took turns acting as casualties simulating multiple different injuries.

“This course enables a student to collect a patient from either “point of injuries” or just simply from another medical treatment facility and move them to a higher echelon of care,” said Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Hermin Acosta, an independent duty corpsman, CASEVAC instructor with 3rd Medical Battalion, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, III MEF. “In addition, they perform patient care from inside the helicopter.”

During the drills, the corpsmen had to quickly triage and assess their casualties as well as practice loading and unloading the patients in and out of a static MV-22B Osprey tiltrotor aircraft.

“They have to be able to work under stress and under the supervision of physicians that are nearby and put on their thinking caps in order to work in the back of one of these birds [Osprey],” said Acosta, from San Antonio, Texas. “We give them as much information as we can and treat them as if they were independent physicians.”

By actually getting out to the flight line and working on the Osprey, the corpsmen are able to be immersed in a more realistic scenario, adding higher stress levels and tension.

“With the scenarios that they gave us and the time allotted to us, I gained a deeper understanding about how to maintain a casualty and how to work under the stress of having a time crunch,” said Hospitalman Joshua Young, a hospital corpsman with 3rd MLG, III MEF. “We had a good connection with our systems and became more proficient at what we do because the instructors told us what we need to do, how we need to do it and when we need to do it.”

Now that the training is complete, the corpsmen have a better understanding of their job in the air or on the ground.