Simulated Attack and the Pale Evaluator

When I was but a wee Airman I decided to volunteer for a CASEVAC exercise (it helps the medics practice evacuating causalities/injured people).

The volunteers were gathered into a small room and briefed about the scenario. It was going to be a simulated attack on a small deployed base. The evaluators handed each of the 15 volunteers a slip of paper which described the type of injury we were supposed to have.

I looked down at my sheet… head injury with disorientation and anger. I laughed to myself, of course I would get the injury where I was supposed to act crazy.

We lined up and a small team applied our moulage (makeup to make us look wounded).

1. Moulage

We were then escorted to a small clearing surrounded by trees. The main evaluator was a stick-like pale man with stooping posture and rage-eyes. He gave a command over the radio he was holding and all hell broke loose. A few 50 caliber guns, supposedly armed with blanks, started firing. He screamed something at us and threw a small can a few meters away from us. I saw a few people cover their ears and look around bewildered, so I followed suit. Suddenly a flashbang went off and half of us were blinded. I was really thankful I was a sheep in that moment and covered my ears, because that was loud as heck even with my ears covered. The explosions continued throughout the exercise.

2. flash bang

A massive truck, with tires nearly as big as I was tall, screeched to a halt near our clearing and medics started pouring out. They began triaging the patients. I was wandering around with my best dazed expression when the pale man with the rage-eyes materialized in front of me (he was very stealthy). He was disappointed in my performance and told me I wasn’t trying hard enough.

3. not trying hard enough

I told him I’d step up my game and he puffed away in a cloud of smoke… okay… he walked away. I began screaming and walking around in a zigzag formation. A medic grabbed me and began shouting directions at me. I was supposed to have hearing loss in addition to my head trauma so I just screamed at him and tried to walk away. He grabbed me and carried me to the truck. He set me down near a wheel and told one of the other mildly injured guys to watch me.

4. captured

The pale man approached me from the shadows of the truck and said the guy holding me passed out and I should get back up and wander around again. He said I needed to scream more and act wilder.

5. escape

I got up and did a zombie shuffle into the clearing. I began screaming for my buddy. I needed to find him and everyone else became my enemy. Another medic approached me and I flailed wildly and did some sort of Igor/zombie shuffle away from her. She yelled for another medic to help her capture me. I looked around and realized I was the last ‘living’ person in the clearing aside from the medics. They began close in from all angles and I speed-shuffled to the tree line in an attempt to escape.

6. Buddy

My escape attempt was thwarted by the same medic who captured me before (he was my new enemy). I flailed in his arms and continued screaming for my buddy. They simulated giving me some special K (ketamine) and I tried to fight the fake effects of the simulated drug.

7. captured again

All of the medics glared at me as my captor brought me to the gigantic truck. He unceremoniously chucked me into the back of the truck, completely disregarding my injuries (when I came down from my simulated high I’d be pissed… if I remembered anything).

8. thwarted

They drove us off to a tent to administer further medical treatment. When we got in the tent they cut our clothes off (we knew they were going to do that so we all wore bathing suits under our clothes). I had been screaming so intensely during my time in the clearing that I became hypoxic, for real, and they had to bring in oxygen. The simulation ended and the pale man looked to me. He gave me a grimace which I interpreted to be a smile. He was obviously proud of my performance. The volunteers cleaned off all the moulage we and headed back to base.

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