Iraq, MASCAL exercise

(To Army Majority State)
02/02/21

The Italian and Hungarian military of the base of Camp Singara in Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan, have practiced in recent days in the management of a MASCAL (Mass Casualty) event, or a critical situation in which there is the need to manage a large number of injured at the same time.

The activity was attended by all the military personnel in force at the base, headquarters of the command of the “Prima Parthica” operation, highlighting the close collaboration between the Italian soldiers and the Hungarian comrades.

In particular, an attack of indirect fire, or carried out with the launch of rockets or mortar rounds which, in fiction, targeted the base, forcing the soldiers to be immediately sheltered in the bunkers the camp is equipped with.

At the end of the alarm, the emergency teams searched for those absent from the roll call and, finding them injured, they took them by makeshift means to the "emergency casualty collection point" (CCP). The activation of the “MASCAL” alarm given by the operations room brought together the medical personnel in charge and the military with first aid skills of both nationalities on the CCP.

Here, while the very first interventions were carried out, the qualified personnel performed triage (the process of classifying the injured according to an order of priority that guarantees priority of treatment based on urgency).

Without solution of continuity, the patients were sent by all available means to the infirmary of the base, the reference health point, to receive the first treatment and to be evacuated urgently to the higher level health point, in case of need for surgery. .

Among all the critical situations that can occur in an operational area, the “MASCAL” scenario is certainly one of the worst. The preparation of suitable plans, the knowledge of the procedures and their correct application are the ways to be followed to limit losses. For this reason, Brigadier General Francesco Principe (Italian Army), commander of the Italian contingent in Iraq and assistant to the deputy commander for the anti-DEASH coalition strategy, wanted to carry out this type of activation.

He also assisted a United States Navy medical team under al Role 2 (the higher level health center) of the “Inherent Resolve” hyperaction, with the aim of collecting elements for an integrated management plan of similar events that harmonizes the specificities of all the nationalities of the coalition present in Iraqi Kurdistan.