By Sgt. Jessica DuVernayMay 16, 2018
MCGREGOR TRAINING COMPLEX, NM - Medics assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Co., 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team "Greywolf," 1st Cavalry Division completed mass casualty and trauma lane training with medical personnel assigned to C Co., 106th Support Battalion, 155th Armored Brigade Combat Team from the Mississippi National Guard, May 4, at McGregor Training Complex, New Mexico.
The two brigades are partnered together through the Army's Total Force Partnership. The training was part of the Multi-Echelon Integrated Brigade Training that the 155th ABCT is currently undergoing to prepare for its upcoming deployment in support of Operation Spartan Shield. The troopers of 2-7 CAV have been providing training support to the 155th ABCT since early April.
"Training like this is important because it allows us to evaluate each other's skills and to pass on knowledge that we both have," said 1st Lt. Elliott Boice, medical operations officer and medical platoon leader, HHC, 2-7 CAV. "We are an integrated Army, all three forces matter, Reserve, Guard and Active Duty."
For the two medical teams, training together is an important requirement in order to obtain certain skills or techniques the other may not have had before.
"It's really important to work with the National Guard because there are certain skillsets that civilians have that we don't necessarily get exposed to, because our environment is very specific," said Cpt. Andrea Nixon, physician assistant, HHC, 2-7 CAV. "But on the other hand, we do live and breathe this environment on a day-to-day basis as Active Duty, and we can impart our knowledge to our counterparts for when they get activated."
Completing the training together allowed the teams to see how the other half accomplishes their mission.
"I think being in this training environment has been a great opportunity to refine [standard operating procedures], to refine our processes with our platoons," explained 1st Sgt. Joseph Tullos, C Co., 106th Support Battalion. "One of the biggest training pieces for that is, for us, and the other unit, to be able to know how the other works.
Sometimes when you combine outside units and the small ways that they change things and actually working together and participating in a training exercise like we did today is extremely helpful to be able to finalize those small things that may be different from unit to unit."
Although the teams serve on different Army components, a point of the training was to show that training is the same across the board with different refinements for different situations.
"It was like they never missed a beat," said 1st Lt. Nathan Smith, field medical assist and treatment platoon leader, C Co., 106th Support Battalion. "We are all trained in basically the same way, and we all have the same starting point through Basic and [advanced individual training]. So when they hit the ground today, they just filled into the slots they needed for the MASCAL and the Roll 2, and everything ran just as smooth as if it was our own people."
The Army Total Force Partnership Program is an ongoing effort by the service to transition both Army Reserve and National Guard into an operational force. The intent is to create a seamless and holistic "total force" governed by the same interchangeable policies and procedures.