Exercise Emphasizes Domestic Aeromed Evac

US Transportation Command participated in exercise Ultimate Caduceus 08 at the beginning of May in Washington State to test the command’s ability to support civil authorities in the mass evacuation of casualties by air after a devastating domestic attack involving chemicals or biological agents. The scenario involved an improvised explosive device detonating along Seattle’s Alaskan Way Viaduct May 1, with the blast and ensuing explosion of a truck carrying chemicals causing hundreds of deaths and thousands of additional injured and sick. “We simulated a mass casualty situation where we helped evacuate patients from local hospitals and airlifted them from McChord [Air Force Base] to federal coordinating centers in Portland, Ore.,” said Col. Nicholas Lezama, TRANSCOM’s senior validating flight surgeon. During the exercise, nearly 1,300 patients were moved from the area, with more than 750 evacuated in a 24-hour period. (McChord report)