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NEWS | July 14, 2023

382nd Engineer Company hosts medical readiness training exercise

By Staff Sgt. Rachel Skowyra and Capt. Nicole Wiestling 326th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

The 382nd Engineer Company (Sapper), based out of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, conducted mounted convoy operations and multi-echelon medical training during battle assembly, June 24, 2023.

The exercise was conducted in three iterations spread across three locations. Each iteration included a mounted patrol and a dismounted opposing force (OPFOR) patrol, which culminated in an ambush, as well as medical operations at the battalion aid station (BAS). Medical Soldiers from other units within the 365th Engineer Battalion were also included in the exercise.

382nd Company Commander Capt. Brooks Keefer stressed the importance of real-world training and its impact on Soldiers, both physically and mentally.

“From a psychological standpoint, I think it’s hugely important for them to understand that, ‘If this is me, I can be reasonably assured that my battle buddies are going to be able to take care of me as well,’” Keefer said.

During the exercise, one platoon went on a convoy while another would act as OPFOR. The convoy suffered notional casualties after being ambushed by the OPFOR.

Spc. Zachary Mateer, a combat engineer with the 382nd, recently graduated from the combat life-saver (CLS) course and was responsible for the aid and litter team during the exercise acting as the first line of of care for casualties, calling in a medical evacuation (MEDEVAC), and completing the tactical combat casualty care card. He drew a comparison to the training he undergoes as a civilian emergency medical technician and police officer.

“If you don’t constantly train in a high-stress environment, you don’t know how your body’s going to react,” Mateer said. “We need to be ready for the real world and what it’s going to look like.”

Casualties were transferred to an initial casualty collection point where their injuries and interventions were reviewed before transport via ambulance to the BAS for further treatment.

Keefer expressed pride in his Soldiers' effort and excitement about the training exercise.

“These guys are every inch the sappers that you would expect to see in the active-duty component," Keefer said. “They are just that fired up. From a leadership perspective, this is a dream job.”