Bataan Memorial Death March Looking for Volunteers

The Texas Emergency Medical Task Force will be participating in the Bataan Memorial Death March again this year the weekend of March 15, 2020.  The Bataan Memorial Death March is an annual event sponsored by the U.S. Army at White Sands Missile Range (WSMR), New Mexico.  The event is a challenging 26.2-mile march through the rugged high desert terrain of WSMR.  This event is in honor of service members who defended the Philippine Islands during World War II.  WSMR is approximately 55 miles from El Paso. 

Approximately 90% of march participants are active duty, or retired military veterans, as well as wounded warriors.   TXEMTF supports Bataan Memorial Death March as a state exercise for deployment each year by providing the main medical facility for the event.  EMTF volunteers have treated over 3,000 patients since Bataan 2012.  We typically treat 400 to 600 patients each year. 

The Bataan Memorial Death March is a “planned mass casualty event”.  During Hurricane Harvey, EMTF team members who were Bataan MMU veterans, displayed confidence and team spirit from skills learned at this event.   If you want to learn about setting up a huge Mobile Medical Unit (MMU) and assist with the care of hundreds of patients, this is a great opportunity. 

Volunteers are not required to be medically trained; non-medical volunteers are also needed.   

As of this message, vehicle passes are not required, but you may be subject to a random search by the military.  All volunteers are required to register and view the orientation for this event, please use the links below:

Event Registration

Texas EMTF Bataan Volunteer Orientation

Concepts EMTF has adopted to promote: 

“One team, one fight” and “Be helpful, be nice”. 

The general schedule will be as follows:   

Bataan Official MMU Exercise 2020 timeline  

A briefing schedule will be posted at the command center.  

Tuesday, March 10 through Thursday, March 12:  The El Paso and Midland/Odessa based MMU trailers and equipment (EMTF Region 9) will be relocated to WSMR.  Any interested parties for this aspect of the exercise are welcome to assist in the relocation of the MMU assets.  Please do not hesitate to contact me at 915-355-8735 for more information.   

Friday, March 13:  The Lubbock and Amarillo (EMTF Region 1) based MMU trailers and equipment will be relocated to WSMR.   

Setup Day  Today is the MMU setup phase and all available help is needed.  Everyone on the EMTF Logistics team will be needed.  We also encourage our clinical staff to assist.  The start time is 0900 hours outside the Frontier Club located on WSMR.  Anyone interested in spending the night on location at WSMR is welcome to spend the night in the MMU.  The goal for Friday is to set up the major components of the MMU in 6 hours (or less).  

If interested in joining the caravan to WSMR please be at the BorderRAC warehouse at 0645 hours. The caravan will depart the warehouse at 0700 hours.  In the past others have waited near Lowes at Woodrow Bean/Trans Mountain and US 54N and followed from there 0710 to 0730. The warehouse address is 6805 Boeing, El Paso, TX 79925, directly behind the Hawthorn Suites. If you want to find your own way, google maps can give directions by searching Frontier Club White Sands Missile Range.   

Saturday, March 14:  Today is the completion of the MMU setup.  The main goal is to fine-tune and make certain everything is in working order for the event on Sunday.  The team leader orientation begins at 0900 hours and team members will be assigned to teams.  Team member orientations will be scheduled throughout the day.  EMTF team members are encouraged to spend Saturday night in the MMU. If there is a potential walk-up patient in the middle of the night, please direct them to the command post. Basic first aid will be available and 911 will be called if necessary, as this is not directly related to the actual Bataan March/MMU event.    

Sunday, March 15:  The Event  Briefing 0900 hrs. The main goal is to provide quality medical care for our patients and offer training opportunities for our team members. The Army foot care and IV protocols for clinical staff will be presented Sunday morning on site.   

Monday, March 16: We will start at 0900 hours with a quick briefing. This is MMU demobilization day, all hands are needed on deck.  The objective is to demobilize the MMU and properly load all in the trailers according to the diagram.     

Tuesday, March 17th through Thursday, March 20th: All MMU trailers and equipment will return to their home bases.   

El Paso Lodging: Hawthorn Suites (6789 Boeing, El Paso 79925, 915-778- 6789) is located right next to the BorderRAC warehouse and would be very convenient for those wishing to join the caravan from the warehouse to WSMR Friday morning.  The BorderRAC warehouse address is 6805 Boeing.  Our warehouse is an aircraft hangar at the corner of Boeing and American.   

Food: There are several restaurants within walking distance of the Hawthorne Hotel in El Paso.  The MMU setup is on WSMR in the parking lot of the Frontier Club, which has a restaurant.  Within a longer walk or short drive on WSMR, are food-court type restaurants.  In addition, some team members have talked about organizing a cookout Friday and Saturday evening.   

Sleeping MMU style: Most of us will sleep in the MMU Friday night through Sunday night.  Military cots will be provided, but most of us bring air mattresses, which are far more comfortable.  There will be a sink in each quad, shuttles to showers will be organized in the evenings.   

Weather: Expect cold temperatures at night (the mid-40s) and higher temps during the day (low to mid-70s).  In 2012, the temperatures reached the 80s during the day.  There is a high probability that it will be windy (one year we had 60+ mph wind gusts).  Please bring a jacket. March 2019 was the first year our MMU had snow, dress accordingly and bring an extra blanket.   

Uniforms: MMU staff is encouraged to wear the Bataan tee shirts Sunday to identify our staff. These shirts will be provided to us by event management.  EMTF scrub top or EMTF uniform is also acceptable.  If you plan on participating in setup or demobilization, please wear comfortable clothing.  A hat, gloves, sunblock, and boots are highly encouraged.   It is a great honor to be a part of this event to support our brave soldiers in uniform. 

We rely on our regional partners for this event and when responding for disaster relief.  Thank you for being an EMTF partner, supporting this event and the EMTF program.  I look forward to seeing you at this year’s Bataan MMU exercise, we could not do this without you volunteering to help.  

Sincerely,    Martin Dominguez, BSM, LP EMTF 9 Coordinator – 6805 Boeing Dr. El Paso TX (C) 915-355-8735 Fax 915-838-3207

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