Birmingham Army Reserve medics set battle rhythm
September 10, 2012
FORT MCCOY, Wis. (Sept. 10, 2012) -- Soldiers from the 926th Engineer Battalion Headquarters Company out of Birmingham, Ala., proved to be an integral component here in support of Combat Support Training Exercise 2012.
A small group of the headquarters not only provided medical aid to hundreds of participating Soldiers, but also conducted training for individuals during the 21-day field training exercise.
"We are operating an aid station," said Spc. Paul S. Rodriguez, a native of Huntsville, Ala. "We are also individually tasked for training mission scenarios."
Rodriguez was the noncommissioned officer in charge for the battalion's medical support section and supervised a five-member team of combat medics.
In the high-summer humidity and with daily highs exceeding 90 degrees Fahrenheit, the medics focused much of their attention to heat related concerns.
"We've helped Soldiers in staying cool," said Rodriguez, while pointing out that this type of weather can lead to heat casualties.
"We have been rotating positions," said Spc. Lauryn R. Watkins, a combat medic and member of the medical section. "We have staff who wake up rather early to take care of sick call patients, making sure supplies are stocked and organized, and making sure the proper paperwork is filed on each patient," he said sitting behind the reception desk organizing medical supplies and paperwork.
The medics on this team are well-trained in their area of expertise and provided sound advice to Soldiers about potential problems they can encounter while living in a field environment.
"Dry clothes and clean socks are essential," added Pvt. 1st Class Sean M. Phillips, a medic with the 926th Eng. Bn.
In addition to helping Soldiers cope with the day-to-day field environment, the medics also were in training to ensure they are equally as proficient at providing aid when they are needed most...during combat.
During the CSTX 2012, battle scenarios from observer-controller trainers with the 78th Training Division provided Soldiers with realistic combat situations that mimicked a deployed environment.
"I was tasked as a medic accompanying the 926th Forward Support Company on a convoy mission scenario," said Phillips. "We came under attack when we turned onto the route."
Phillips' mission was to pick up supplies and provide combat casualty care for ten simulated injured Soldiers. "The training went well and everyone knows what to work on for future missions," he said.