Preparing for the Worst

Airmen and other troops with Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa practiced how to respond to a mass casualty in an exercise at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti. The June 1 exercise simulated a vehicle-borne IED that caused two casualties, according to a press release. The scenario included the IED explosion, search and recovery, transporting the remains to mortuary affairs collection point at Camp Lemonnier, and then processing the remains and preparing them for transfer to Dover AFB, Del. The exercise team was made up of civil engineer volunteers and airmen trained in mortuary affairs, incorporating troops who don’t normally do mortuary affairs. It was the first trial run after those volunteers were trained. Chief Petty Officer Titus Gibson, the hazaradous material chief for Camp Lemonnier Mortuary Affairs, said the team did very well, particularly considering that most of them had been trained within the last two weeks, but said there is “always room for improvement.”