FORT HUNTER LIGGETT, Calif. –
Battlefield injuries can be debilitating without proper care, so it is essential that Army Reserve Soldiers of the 331st Minimal Care Detachment thrive in a field environment. The medical unit is able to intertwine effortlessly with their active duty counterparts, bringing their civilian medical expertise with them.
The 47th Combat Support Hospital of Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, on Camp Roberts, California, during July’s annual training is exactly the type of hands-on work that keeps Reserve medical staff in practice.
Nearly 5,400 service members from the U.S. Army Reserve, U.S. Army, Army National Guard, U.S. Navy, and Canadian Armed Forces are training at Fort Hunter Liggett, Calif., as part of the 84th Training Command’s CSTX 91-17- 03 and ARMEDCOM’s Global Medic; this is a unique training opportunity that allows U.S. Army Reserve units to train alongside their multi-component and joint partners as part of the America’s Army Reserve evolution into the most lethal Federal Reserve force in the history of the nation.
For Army Reserve Sgt. Daniel Ledezma, the training manager, and his team from the 331st Minimal Care Detachment out of Miami, this CSH is a unique opportunity to rehearse situations they encounter during deployment.
“This training helps us work with an active duty unit that is deploying and it helps our Reservists fully understand what is demanded of them and the immense responsibility they’re carrying,” said Ledezma. “From this training, we all realize how important it is for us to keep training.”
Ledezma, who works as a full time civilian paramedic in Miami, stressed the knowledge Reservists bring to their Army units.
“Most of us have our hands in the mud,” said Ledezma. “It’s easy for us to come into the CSH and integrate seamlessly because this is what most of us do in real life.”
While in support of the CSH, the MCD is working with ambulatory patients who require care for smaller ailments or injuries. He said the MCD accommodates patients with everything from minor injuries or infections to support for sexual assault patients. As these types f injuries usually do not require the intense amount of medical care as in an emergency room, the MCD offers a seven-to-one patient-to-medical-professional ratio.
“We provide our patients with the utmost comfort, and we ensure our patients ailments don’t worsen,” said Ledezma.
The MCD is just a microcosm of the CSH; the larger goal of all sections within the hospital is to provide world-class patient care to Soldiers in any environment.
Army Reserve Commander Col. Ian Tolman, 2nd Medical Training Brigade out of Fort Douglas, Salt Lake City, Utah, expressed his passion for the realistic opportunity provided during Global Medic.
“The MRTC [Medical Readiness Training Command, out of San Antonio, Texas] has a mission to design and execute training for medical units. We also then assess their performance,” said Tolman. During Global Medic, units will get the opportunity to test their basic soldier skills, as well as their job specific skills and receive performance critiques from Observe Controller/Trainers which commanders can then use to enhance future exercises.
“Whether it’s in a veterinary unit, a preventative medicine unit, or a dental company all of those units come out to Fort Hunter Liggett to rehearse for the actual type of mission that will conduct in war,” said Tolman.
This battle testing is the exact dress rehearsal needed, which makes Global Medic so important according to leadership.
“I’ve seen this training save lives and the equipment the Soldiers are training on during the CSH will be as real as it gets,” said Army Reserve Sgt. 1st Class Terry Warren, a combat medic for the 7303rd Battalion Medical Training Support, out of Fort Gordon, Georgia, and a member of the Effects and Enablers Team during Global Medic.
Warren, a combat veteran, stresses this kind of practice sets Soldiers up for future success – especially during deployments.
Army Reservist Spc. William S. Abella, a combat medic with the MCD, agrees, adding that for him, Global Medic will help with both his military and civilian careers. He is going to school for nursing, which translates into better practice in realizing what is taught in a classroom environment.
Ultimately, medical professionals who hone their skills are that much better in an actual crisis situation.