DVIDS – News – Task Force Koa Moana 21 participates in Disaster Preparedness Month in Palau

Airai, Republic of Palau – (September 15, 2021) Marines and Sailors with Task Force Koa Moana 21, I
Marine Expeditionary Force, in partnership with Civic Action Team Palau 36-05 and Palau First Responders
participate in a large-scale mass exercise at Palau International Airport in Airai, Republic of
Palau, Sep 15-18, 2021.
The simulated victims were drenched in rain which continued to rain throughout the exercise.
However, that did not stop task force medical staff and Palau first responders from performing at
the highest level. These health professionals knew that there was little room for error when responding to a
a large number of victims and understood the importance of this exercise.
“The purpose of this mass casualty exercise is to test Palau’s emergency response capabilities,” said
Dwayne Masami, the chief of the aircraft rescue and firefighting station. “The airport cannot receive
international flights, unless we demonstrate that we are equipped to handle any potential aircraft
emergencies and meet certain security requirements.
The scenario for this exercise was a commercial aircraft that sustained bird strike damage. The
the aircraft was forced to make an emergency landing, which damaged its wing and the aircraft
to skid sideways on the track. Several emergency response organizations participated in the
exercise due to the severity and scale of the scenario.
“They worked very well as a team,” said US Navy Lt. Pamela R. Rakoski, chief medical officer of
Task Force Koa Moana 21, I Marine Expeditionary Force. “When it was time for the show, they did not hesitate to
take action and get the job done.
The aircraft rescue and firefighting station and city firefighters were in charge of the blazes
removal and transport of actors from the accident site to the decontamination area, where a
The Environmental Quality Protection Board’s hazardous materials team transported the simulated victims through
a decontamination shower and to the triage area.
The triage area consisted of nurses from the Belau National Hospital as well as trained emergency services.
medical technicians from the city fire department and the Palau Civic Action Team 36-05. After the
the wounded stabilized, they were transported to the Belau National Hospital to receive the next level
medical care.
“One of the main points of interest in this mass exercise was testing the yard and the injured
first responder assessment capabilities, ”said Rakoski. “The exercise also tested the
ability to receive a wave of patients, re-sort and re-prioritize them.
Medical personnel from Task Force Koa Moana participated in the training exercise as observers. They were
tasked with assessing first responders as they rescued the injured. This allowed them
to help identify which part of the triage process could be changed or improved. The working group also
provided a communications specialist to Marines to help assess the implementation and use of their
communication systems during the scenario.
“This was a great opportunity to help strengthen the relationship Task Force Koa Moana has with
the people of Palau, and this has also helped to improve their crisis response capacities, ”said Rakoski.
The Koa Moana Task Force is designed to strengthen and improve relations between the United States and partner countries / states in the Indo-Pacific region while remaining safe from COVID-19. The task force has the unique opportunity and privilege to work with the Republic of Palau as a sign of the United States’ commitment to the people of Palau and their partners and allies in the Indo-Pacific region.

Date taken: 26.09.2021
Date posted: 09.27.2021 01:01
Story ID: 406050

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