FORT McCOY, Wis. –
As the Nation enters its 17th year engaged in contingency operations, training for future operations is paramount to military success on the battlefield. Realistic training can be challenging for the military due to limited resources or difficulties recreating an environment that challenges the skillsets of all the Soldiers in a unit or team. An infantryman can practice shooting a target or storming a hill, and an artillery battery can practice putting rounds down range on time, on target, but when it comes to medical training, it is difficult replicating an environment so a medical professional can practice removing a bullet or packing a wound; simulating this environment is where the Global Medic exercise begins.
Global Medic Fort McCoy has a training audience of over 2,580 service members from across the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Marine Corps along with international partners from the United Kingdom and Canada.
Global Medic is planned, synchronized and executed by Army Reserve Medical Command’s,
Medical Readiness and Training Command headquartered out of San Antonio, Texas. Global Medic is the U.S. Army Reserve’s only Joint National Training Capability accredited exercise, and continues to expand to include multinational participation, serving as a model for future Joint integration.
Medical scenarios, called injects, are used throughout the exercise to test and train medical personnel and units, improving their ability to respond and work as a cohesive team. These injects start in the Effects and Enablers Cell (E&E Cell) with patient simulators - either mannequins, advanced simulators or live role players. The E&E cell applies moulage and briefs live patients on their role with their simulated injuries. Once the patient simulator is prepared, they are pushed to the training audience as walking wounded, some are air evacuated to location or delivered by ambulance and then MRTC’s Observer Coach/Trainer’s observe their responses and provide feedback based on those responses.
Critical Care OC/T, Maj. Eugene Vajna, assigned to 7305th Medic Training Support Battalion in San Antonio Texas shares a recent training inject. “What we had here today was a medical inject for the 911th Forward Surgical Team. Their task was to jump from [Forward Operating Base] Justice to FOB Liberty and be prepared to receive patients. The inject consisted of two Soldiers role playing with simulated wounds from enemy sniper fire. One Soldier had a simulated chest wound, and the other had an abdominal wound,” Vajna said.
Vajna explained what OC/T’s were looking for was “to see how the unit chose to expend resources.
“The Soldier with the chest wound became unresponsive; their decision was made rather quickly to end resources on the chest wound and to focus on the other Soldier with the abdominal wound. This decision forced them to use up their available blood supply which pushed them to go to plan B, to use a walking blood bank, utilizing the available Soldiers on the FOB as a blood source to save the second Soldier,” Vajna said.
This inject is just one of over 450 medical training scenarios that go on throughout the exercise as a means of exercising medical skills, testing and evaluation for the medical assets participating in the exercise.
“The most critical aspect of Global Medic is getting after the employability of our medical force. Most of our Soldiers are deployable, and that is great, but to use them forward we have to make sure they are employable, so Global Medic allows us to assess and improve their skills,” said MRTC Commander, Brig. Gen. Lisa L. Doumont.
Another part of Global Medic is the focus on the concept of interoperability with foreign allies. The multinational piece is critical because it is how the U.S. fights and wins wars. Bringing international partners and fellow service members together helps identify breakdowns in communication, shares best practices and establishes relationships needed both now and in the future.
“We are here to see how the interoperability between the U.K, the U.S and other coalition partners are working together to provide medical capabilities. We work very closely with America, as we have done in previous wars. We need to keep training to make sure we don’t lose the lessons learned from past operations,” British Armed Forces Squadron Leader, Sarah Cage-Brimelow, said.