On the island of Coranga, a tsunami caused massive flooding and destroyed small towns in the Verango region. Flood waters raged down the Bonegi River to further flood and destroy other small towns along the way. The large city of Honiara in the Eastern Avu Avu Region lost at least 10,000 lives along with twice as many missing. Twenty small towns and villages were in its path. This event covers an area of 250,000 square km along the banks of the Bonegi. The 10th CSH has been issued orders to be standing in the door with bags in hand ready to deploy for Operation “River Comfort”, a humanitarian mission to the island of Coranga. The mission of the 10th Combat Support Hospital (CSH) is to rapidly deploy an 84-bed hospital in support of combat operations or operations other than war. What you are seeing are aerial recon photos of Coranga. It is a surreal realization of the destruction that the suppressed fury of Mother Nature unleashed. Ten thousand lives were lost in one region alone and it is anyone’s guess how many more were in the wake of the 250,000 square km of devastation. I have never in my 18 years of service see any mission brief come close to what I have heard today, nor have I ever had to plan and prepare this unit to undertake such a distressing mission. Each one of you as a leader, has the utmost responsibility to your subordinates to keep them healthy by ensuring they use prophylactic measures and sanitation practices along with pest and vector control to ensure their safety. There is no real threat from enemy-induced threats on this mission, however you still need to worry about industrial hazards, air and water pollution, and endemic or epidemic disease. We are going to need all the Health Service Support we can get. We’ll implement forced health protection to promote, improve, or conserve the behavioral and physical well-being of our people. Every warrior medic under you will soon become a first responder before, during, and after they set up their CSH battle station. Not only will they have to work on the great number of people expected to arrive every second but they need to keep an eye on each other. The CSH will be one of many scattered around the island. Any where there is a dry piece of real estate, a Medical Treatment Facility needs to go up. Keep in mind that every aspect of definitive and en route care needs to be applied in this horrific situation. Causality Evacuation will be predominately by air and water. Flexibility is simply being prepared to shift AHS resources to meet changing requirements. Our requirement is a mission to the Island of Coranga to aide after a huge Tsunami that has stuck the island nation. In this mission, we are going to be working with a lot of different entities doing search and rescue, field sanitation, setting up health care facilities and helping to restore the infrastructure to a workable stage. There is a lot to think about as you prepare to deploy: How do you use the HSS and what can it do for you? What is Forced Health Protection (FHP)?
- Fall '19