Castile resident Caleb Bailey, a New York Army National Guard Soldier, takes part in medical exercise in Ukraine

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YAVORIV, UKRAINE (01/23/2018) New York Army National Guard Specialist Caleb Bailey, a resident of Castile, N.Y. and a combat medic assigned to Headquarters Troop of the 2nd Squadron 101st Cavalry based at Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station, recently took part in a mass casualty exercise conducted at the Yavoriv Combat Training Center here.

Bailey is one of 220 New York Army National Guard Soldiers who are currently assigned to the Joint Multinational Training Group - Ukraine (JMTG-U) in order to assist the Ukrainian Army in honing its soldiers combat skills.

The mass casualty exercise, known as a MASCAL, was conducted on Jan. 12 in order to help the joint training group's medics improve their skills.

The exercise was implemented and organized by the training group medical section as a way to test Soldiers' capabilities and identify any weaknesses or deficiencies.

The MASCAL exercise, which is planned months in advance, was designed to simulate an actual scenario that the medics assigned to the joint training group Soldiers might encounter.

The scenario was designed around a two vehicle rollover accident which caused multiple casualties. The medics had to evaluate and treat each casualty and then transport them to the troop medical clinic for additional care.

Though the medical section conducted the bulk of the planning, Soldiers from all across training group participated in the exercise.

As a way to make the training as realistic as possible, each of the role players was issued a casualty card. These cards described the injury that the role player sustained and were used by the medics during the triage and treatment of the patients.

"We were on our way to the range when we encountered a simulated car wreck involving two vehicles and approximately 10 people," Bailey said, in explaining the exercise. Specialist Robert Graber and I responded to the scene, and I took over as lead medic as Graber began triaging the patients in the vehicles."

"We had two patients that we had to notionally evacuate to higher care in Lviv, (Ukraine) " Bailey, said . "We loaded the rest in the ambulance and came back to the medical clinic."

The MASCAL not only provided the medics with a scenario to test their medical skills, but it also allowed them to test their leadership skills.

"As a medic, when you show up at a scene there is usually a sergeant or officer there who takes charge," Bailey said. "As a specialist, I was the highest ranking one there and had to take charge."

Bailey and the other New York National Guard Soldiers arrived at Yavoriv Combat Training Center in Ukraine, Nov. 11, to join up with the rest of the unit that was already in place at JMTG-U, conducting a right-seat, left-seat training with the Oklahoma Army National Guard's 45th IBCT which is wrapping up its deployment at JMTG-U.

The New York-based 27th IBCT will spend about nine months in Ukraine, helping the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense further develop its CTC and advise on its training program being conducted there.