CAMP FOSTER, OKINAWA, Japan --
Marines and Sailors performed a pandemic influenza isolation exercise during Exercise Constant Vigilance 2017, Oct. 18 at the U.S. Naval Hospital Okinawa aboard Camp Foster.
CV17 sharpens emergency response skills across Marine Corps Installations in Okinawa through rehearsals and drills in varying scenarios.
The isolation exercise simulated an influenza outbreak, where the role-players acted as patients. Despite the chaos around them, hospital corpsmen had to act quickly, isolate an area, transport and treat the patients and maintain order. This exercise tested the emergency response and preparedness procedures of corpsmen at the USNH Okinawa.
“We are able to have all services on the island participate was phenomenal,” said Russ Ackerman, military treatment facility emergency manager.
During CV17, different commands practiced responding to a pandemic outbreak of avian influenza H7N9 Oct. 17-19. It is one the many exercises MCIPAC conducts yearly in order to prepare to effectively respond to crises in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region, save lives, and preserve regional peace, stability and security.
“Exercise Constant Vigilance provides the opportunity for multiple commands on Okinawa to plan, work through, and wargame both crisis response actions on the ground and headquarters' decision-making processes,” said Brig. Gen. Paul Rock Jr. the commanding general of MCIPAC-Marine Corps Base Camp Butler, Japan. “This exercise engaged the joint community on-island including: Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, MCIPAC, 18th Wing, and U.S. Naval Hospital Okinawa; all working together to determine how we would respond to a pandemic crisis. The lessons learned and relationships formed, will serve us well in the future.”