By Staff Sgt. Eric W. JonesAugust 1, 2018
FORT HUNTER LIGGETT, Calif. -- U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers from across the country came to central California to test and sharpen their professional and tactical skills at Global Medic, Combat Support Training Exercise 91-18-01, at Fort Hunter Liggett, California, July 23, 2018.
The overall goal of the exercise is to ensure that America's Army Reserve units and Soldiers are trained and ready to deploy on short-notice and bring capable, combat-ready, and lethal capabilities in support of the Army and its joint partners anywhere in the world.
"The purpose of this training is to simulate the treatment of battlefield injuries in real time, as realistically as possible and with as many details as possible," explained Col. Randy Rizor, the observer coach/trainer observing the training, who is also an anesthesiologist for the U.S. Army Reserve. "Common staged scenarios often ignore the reality of coordination and timing when you have trauma like this, [and] timing is critical."
As part of the CSTX, two Combat Support Hospitals, or CSH, are present and training in their tactical proficiencies along with their clinical skills. To help train and teach in an austere field environment, the Army Reserve Medical Command's Medical Readiness and Training Command has placed observer coach/trainers, or OC/T, on the ground to analyze mission operations and provide feedback to Soldiers assigned to the 369th CSH from Vancouver, Washington, and the 228th CSH from San Antonio Texas, in their medical and clinical readiness.
One of the goals of the medical training is to give the CSH's realistic training in terms of common trauma scenarios, rather than just talking through injuries and response. One of the scenarios using a surgical cut suit involves a live role player that is outfitted with a latex suit that goes over the role player's body and forms a second layer of skin and organs laid on top of the role player. This allows training personnel to safely perform surgical procedures while the live human role player underneath remains unharmed.
"MRTC [Medical Readiness and Training Command] works with the team that supplies the suit in coordinating the actual injuries, then as the cut suit role player comes through, we observe and coach the training audience on their response throughout the process of the patient moving through the hospital," Rizor said.
MRTC is a one-star command that helps the U.S. Army Reserve maintain a ready status by supporting both traditional and new training strategies that produce units of action and individual Soldiers who are trained and equipped to meet mission requirements of Geographic Combatant Commands.
A smaller specialized unit, the 315th Medical Detachment (Optometry), based out of Fort Dix, New Jersey, assigned as a subordinate unit to the 228th CSH for Global Medic, carried out their training and validation requirements in preparation for possible deployment as a Ready Force X unit. The 315th Medical Detachment is participating in the CSTX in order to be evaluated as ready for deployment with the assistance of MRTC's OC/T's and support staff.
Staff Sgt. Antionette Alberto, an OC/T supporting the 315th Medical Detachment explained her role with the training audience and the total scope of the validation process. "MRTC provides an avenue that creates scenarios that help [the training audience] think critically and incorporate their tactical proficiencies learned through their warrior tasks and battle drills, and coordinates them with their clinical proficiencies."
"We focused on clinical and warrior task training as well as making sure our inventory, equipment, and vehicles are ready for deployment," said Capt. Sarah Staley, 315th Medical Detachment unit commander, after the unit's validation. The OC/T with MRTC helped us focus on warrior task training and how we integrate that with our critical skills. The clinicians and technicians are exceptional, being able to build on that with our warrior task training is helping us to be deployment ready. Being integrated with the CSH was a very positive experience because we were able to expand our scope and provide integrated services with the CSH," she said.
Approximately 325 personnel assigned to support MRTC are serving as both OC/Ts and support staff to run Global Medic Fort Hunter Liggett, part of the CSTX 91-18-01, which supports a medical training audience of approximately 1,775 personnel.