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Indiana National Guard Medics Keep Training Healthy

By Capt. Matthew Collins | 2nd Battalion, 151st Infantry Regiment Army National Guard | Aug. 18, 2016

160815-Camp Atterbury, Ind. — Indiana National Guard medic, Spc. Matthew Bailey, from Sturgis, Mich. stays on guard during his unit’s mortar live fire exercise. Bailey’s job is to render life saving aid in the event of a catastrophic mishap with the 1.5 pounds of military grade high explosive used during training. “Last week was a graded exercise for the mortar section. We did several runs, and even simulated some casualties. I simulated treating them and loaded them in the ambulance. We also simulated loading casualties in Army helicopters for rapid transport,” Bailey said. “ I served six years on active duty. Three years at Fort Drum, N.Y. and three years at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. Then on my way out of active duty I decided I still wanted to be part of the Army National Guard. The closest place was here in South Bend, Indiana with the 2nd Battalion, 151st Infantry Regiment which I joined last November.”

Bailey is attending annual training with the 2/151 Infantry Battalion headquarters mortar section. He is currently on day 17 of 23 to complete the multi-week exercise, “Exportable Combat Training Capability.” The XCTC is an annual field training exercise designed to certify platoon proficiency in coordination with the Army Reserve. This training provides an experience similar to a federal Combat Training Center for National Guard and Army Reserve Soldiers at regional locations to minimize the cost and time away from jobs and family.

Combined elements of Army Reserve and Indiana National Guard working together builds capability between numerous military specialties. During XCTC, the Army Reserve provided helicopter support while the 38th Infantry Division conducted ground maneuver and live fire.

When asked about his personal life and his recent transition from active duty, Bailey expressed his continued passion for medical service.

“Right now I am in nursing school and will take my certification exam in December and hope to start as a registered nurse in March,” Bailey said.