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Exercise Seahawk Tests Sailors' Reactions with Casualty Drills

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070828-08
Release Date: 8/28/2007 1:17:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class James Seward, Fleet Public Affairs Center, Pacific

IMPERIAL BEACH, Calif. (NNS) -- Sailors tested their reaction skills during a surprise mass casualty drill as part of Exercise Seahawk 2007, Aug. 23.

The evolution started with a group of defiant protesters rushing the main gate of the Seahawk replica camp, followed by an explosion. Before any Sailors realized what had happened, they were reacting swiftly and proficiently to simulated injured and angry civilian protesters.

“We are trying to communicate different combat scenarios to Sailors who are deploying to a combat zone,” said Stu Segall, president of Strategic Operations, a studio dedicated to providing tactical training to the military. “The studio collaborates with the military during Seahawk, providing hyper-realistic scenarios equipped with special effects, pyrotechnics and medical make-up as well as actors staging attacks on military personnel.”

The surprise mass casualty also gave Sailors the opportunity to put some of their new skills to the test, further enhancing the exercise’s training experience.

“We want our Sailors to not be stunned by the initial reaction of going overseas to a combat zone,” said Capt. Gary Buchanan, training commander for Seahawk 2007. “What they are seeing here today is intensive, and what they will see overseas will most likely be the same.”

Nearly 65 percent of the Sailors participating in Exercise Seahawk are from Reserve units, many of which have already completed multiple deployments to Iraq.

“I’ve been to combat zones in Iraq, and the training we’re involved with during Seahawk is as close to Iraq as it gets,” said Master-at-Arms 2nd Class (SW) Ignacio Coria. “Everything from the explosions to the injured personnel made you forget that it was ever just training."

Throughout Exercise Seahawk, Sailors have been trained with real world scenarios, increasing the force capability and capacity in the maritime environment.

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