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NEWS | July 3, 2018

Lifesaving training comes to Fort McCoy in Regional Medic

By Staff Sgt. Eric W. Jones Army Reserve Medical Command

Summer is the time for annual training for many Army Reserve Soldiers across the country. Training can be fun and hard but for many Soldiers it is also lifesaving. Tactical medical training is what is happening at Regional Medic CSTX 86-18-04, at Fort McCoy, Wis., June 9-29, 2018. CSTX 86-18-04 is a Combat Support Training Exercise that ensures America’s Army Reserve units and Soldiers are trained and ready to deploy on short-notice to bring capable, combat-ready, lethal firepower in support of the Army and geographic combatant commands anywhere in the world.

U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers with 865th Combat Support Hospital, based in Utica, N.Y., are training to maintain their medical skills during a mass casualty exercise while working and living in a tactical environment. 

As the ambulances roll in, the Soldiers of the 865th CSH prepare to start triage and treatment of the simulated patients. The patients ranged from live role players who have been coached and prepared with the symptoms and cosmetic moulage, to simulated wounds, and prepared mannequins. 

“We do exercises like this, so we are prepared in the future if we do have to mobilize,” said Sgt. Daniel J. Lane, a triage noncommissioned officer with the 865th CSH. “Some Soldiers who are not medical professionals in their civilian career can get a look at what this exercise is and how mass-casualty exercises work. If you do it just a few times, you will have a base knowledge to work from,” Lane added.

Once offloaded and triaged the patients are categorized, tracked and moved on further through the hospital receiving required care. Maj. Stacy Losey, an Observer Coach Trainer (OCT) with the 3rd Medical Training Brigade, discussed the important role OCTs play for exercises like Regional Medic.

“Many units are not able to stand up their hospitals and practice their opportunities for teamwork. You can practice with scenarios, but having the mannequin that is moving and bleeding and they are getting real-time feedback from one of our OCT’s. They are able to exercise how their system, as a hospital, works, all the way from the triaging to the ICW [Intermediate Care Ward],” said Losey. 

Several random scenarios were also thrown in to add more realism to the training. A couple of enemy combatants were able to camouflage their vehicle into the midst of the ambulances and simulated an attack which was handled by the Soldiers on guard, but the inject created considerable disruption as intended. The other situation included one of the medics who sustained simulated injuries by one of the ambulances, creating more workload with fewer hands.

To bring this type of training to the tactical field environment takes time and preparation. Army Reserve Medical Command’s Medical Readiness and Training Command delivers relevant and realistic collective training for Joint, Multi-National, and Reserve Component Forces. Approximately 175 personnel tasked or assigned to support the Regional Medic exercise as Observer Coach/Trainers (OC/Ts), or support staff, managed a training audience of approximately 1100 personnel in units assigned to 3rd Medical Command (Deployment Support).

It is through these annual exercises that Army Reserve Soldiers and their units get to hone their skills, allowing them to bring their combat-ready medical service capabilities in support of the needs of the Army and the Nation.