CAMP ATTERBURY, Indiana –
Approximately 160 U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers from the 7212nd Medical Support Unit (MSU), Rochester, Minnesota; the 7215th MSU, St. Louis, Missouri; and the 7405th Troop Medical Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota; performed medical and dental validation for Active, National Guard, and Reserve Component Soldiers that took part in Mobilization Exercise Level III (MOBEX III) as part of Operation Pershing Strike 2023 in Camp Atterbury, Indiana, July 10 to August 5, 2023.
MOBEXs are annual training exercise of varying levels to assess all Mobilization Force Generation Installations and their capabilities in deploying troops en masse.
"What we are training for currently is for in case we have a large-scale mobilization operation, or LSMO," said U.S. Army Reserve Lt. Col. Arvie Webster, a family nurse practitioner assigned to the 7453rd Medical Operational Readiness Unit, Mesa, Arizona, and the officer-in-charge of the Army Reserve medical task force. "So if we have to deploy a bunch of forces all at once, we got to make sure that they are medically cleared as well as hitting these other training points, whether it is training that they going to do when they are deployed and also getting them ready and their families ready."
Despite just three days of reception, staging, onward movement and integration (RSOI), Soldiers from both MSUs and the TMC processed and supported the large-scale influx of Active, National Guard and Reserve Component Soldiers prior to and during their MOBEX III engagements.
"We also got 1,500 Soldiers through the soldier readiness processing portion, medically and dentally ready," Webster said. "The troop medical clinic also saw over 275 Soldiers. What (U.S. Army Medical Command's) standard is that they want to make sure that we can get at least 40 Soldiers in an hour through soldier readiness processing, but what we've actually done in this exercise is we exceeded that goal."
Eric J. Holcomb, 51st Governor of the State of Indiana, officially recognized the 7212nd MSU's prodigious efforts in exceeding that standard.
"Some of the units were so impressed with the care that we provided that actually the unit was awarded the Indiana Commendation Medal," Webster said. "So it was a huge success, this whole entire exercise."
During periods of downtime, many of the medical Soldiers pursued cross-training opportunities and other learning experiences.
"When we only had one or two patients in the TMC, we would also do training with the providers for the different specialties that they had so we could get specialized training, and everybody loved it," said U.S. Army Reserve Sgt. Ariel Yuzenko, a combat medic assigned to the 7239th MSU, Chattanooga, Tennessee and cross-level augmentee for the 7405th TMC. "We did sutures one day, we did different types of IV on another day, and then different draws and injections. It was constant learning, and it made a big difference on how everybody here in the TMC enjoyed being here. At the same time, we were making the best of it and making sure that everybody has optimal training and the best experience and be able to get the most knowledge out of this mission."
Although the medical task force is comprised of Soldiers indigenous to their units as well as cross-level augmentees, they nonetheless established and maintained unit cohesion throughout MOBEX III.
"For the most part, everybody worked well together," said U.S. Army Reserve Sgt. Alicia Wheat, an automated logistical specialist assigned to the 7215th MSU. "We were able to do all stations like dental, (Automated Neuropsychological Assessment Metrics), the medical portion, labs, immunization, and Periodic Health Assessments."
Due to her positive experience in working with Army Reserve medical Soldiers, Wheat said that she is inspired to pursue Military Occupational Specialty reclass into a practical nursing specialist.
"It's been honestly really wonderful to be here and actually have this experience and see how it works and see what I have in store once I actually reclass," Wheat said.
Lastly, Webster said that the rapid-fire transition between the walk-crawl-run phases would have not been possible without the groundwork laid by Active Guard Reserve (AGR) Soldiers involved in the planning and development process.
"A large component of this is our AGR Soldiers that are consistent for us, so even though leadership may change during yearlong planning, those AGR Soldiers are a constant and gave us the whole entire backbone to make this a successful operation," Webster said. "AGR Soldiers should have a huge shout-out to how much of an intricate role they play and how they lay the foundation work for us so we're able to go in and do our jobs."
"If you think about all of those different Soldiers from all different areas, and how they were able to flow together and make such a successful mission, it's amazing. It just shows the dedication and professionalism and the subject matter experts and knowledge that they bring with them," Webster said.