CSTX wraps up, medical Soldier provide battlefield care
David Moore
ASA-Fort Dix Staff Writer

JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST -- Operating in a austere environment Army surgeons, doctors, nurses and technicians waited to treat a local national inside a combat support hospital injured as a result of an exploded improvised explosive device.

For the Army Reserve Soldiers of the 9th Medical Brigade?'s 865th Combat Support Hospital, headquartered in Utica, NY, they were also expecting to have a village elder with protesters in their area who received bad information that these Soldiers had water.

This was just a small part of the four-day run phase of the three-week long Global Medic exercise that wrapped up this week-a major part of the 78th Training Divisions Combat Support Training Exercise (CSTX) that prepares Army Reserves Soldiers for deployments in a unit?'s ready year.

?"We have been preparing for this exercise for some time and are being challenged effectively daily," Col. Kathie Clark, 865th commander, said. ?"We are a premier combat support hospital in the Army Reserve hospital inventory so these soldiers-the unit as a whole-doing this training will all be ready to support the nation?'s interest when called."

Maj. Justin Sausville, a urologist from Newark, DE., pointed out that the medical professionals were treating simulated enemy prisoners of war-a task they could find in a deployed area of operations anywhere in the world if deployed.

The combat support hospital (CSH) mission is to rapidly evaluate and provide treatment to combatants during wartime operations and could also find themselves operating in a support and sustainment operations in the event of a natural disaster. The military medical hospital is similar to a trauma center found in communities around the country.

Capt. Stacia Ciak, a civilian and Army Reserve physical therapist from Philadelphia, PA, explained during the run phase of the exercise the hospital was receiving patients and there were probes by the enemy and protests nearly the hospital.

?"Right now the local populace is not happy with us as a result of those who oppose us being here after using propaganda against us," she said.

The tented hospital itself included surgical suites, evaluation area, blood laboratory and patient care in the ASA-Fort Dix operated Range 59 complex area, known as Tactical Assembly Area Mercy.

?"For the exercise we have two general surgeons and two orthopedic surgeons on board who can take care most trauma medical treatment," Ciak said. ?"If we can?'t treat here can stabilize them and move them forward such as sending the patient to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany."

To make the exercise realistic, the training was not just for the Army Reserve medical Soldiers. Included were Navy Reserve, Canadian Army expeditionary doctors and --technicians, as well as Air Force personnel who could plan and make the movement of injured personnel for further medical treatment. Medical Soldiers too were required to conduct Soldiers skills training and support the power infrastructure to hospital.

Supporting the 865th were several Army Reserve quartermaster units who supported the operations such as tentage, water, and other maintenance requirements. During the exercise in cold snowy conditions, teamwork became paramount, Ciak said.

?"I believe that the only way to stay warm is to stay busy and all the Soldiers are busy," Clark said.