By Janelle Guerrero-Miguel
HNN Summer Intern
FORD ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) - A mass casualty drill kicked off Wednesday, with Rim of the Pacific military personnel simulating a vehicle crash that left 27 people "critically injured."
After actors were initially treated at Ford Island, they were taken in military helicopters to two ships: the Huga, a Japanese naval ship, and the USS America.
Another phase of the exercise simulated an earthquake that left devastating damage to a foreign nation. Navy Maj. David Jaeger said the simulation involved a host nation whose hospitals were already full, and couldn't treat the earthquake victims.
"We're staging them in an area, then we'll come in and retrieve them and move them via helicopter to some medical facilities off shores," he said.
Civilians and non-governmental organizations, including the Red Cross, also participated in the drill. Officials said they wanted to include NGOs because they're usually the first to respond to disasters.
The drill is part of RIMPAC's humanitarian assistance and disaster relief training, and offers civilian and military personnel a unique opportunity to train together.
"We can work together in a simulated event and hone our skills in the event of a real-world humanitarian disaster relief effort," Jaeger said.
The drill wraps up Thursday.