By Capt. Kelsey Fiddes, PHA R-PApril 5, 2019
Public Health Activity Rheinland-Pfalz recently executed its annual training event in Grafenwoehr, Germany. This event, aimed at enhancing and optimizing Soldier readiness, brought together 62 personnel from ten sites spread across Germany and Belgium.
The exercise consisted of Army warrior tasks, military occupational specialty credentialing, an Army physical fitness test and face-to-face training, all while building unit cohesion and team morale.
The Bavaria Veterinary Treatment Facility assumed a large portion of the planning responsibilities, as they served as the range safety officers and facilitated a number of key tasks including day and night land navigation; mine-resistant ambush protected vehicle rollover training; the engagement skills trainer; and the leaders' reaction course.
Soldiers were divided into platoons, engaging in friendly competition amongst each other for top scores during the various tested events.
All members of the unit were trained on the following:
AWT one - maintain, employ, and engage targets with assigned weapon systems
AWT three and four - land navigation and movement
AWT six - voice communication situation report, spot report and nine-line medical evacuation
AWT eight - react to chemical biologic radiologic and nuclear attack/hazard
AWT nine - perform immediate lifesaving measures
Soldiers were tested on these AWTs during a night land navigation course as the teams had to not only navigate to various points, but also test on the AWTs they learned earlier in the exercise.
To demonstrate AWT nine, the teams completed medical skills training as a group. This required them to maneuver as a team, maintain assigned weapons and evaluate and treat casualties under stressful situations.
The annual training exercise culminated with a 10-mile ruck march.
Along with the AWTs, the ATX also included MOS training and credentialing led by Veterinary Branch Kaiserslautern and Veterinary Medical Center Europe.
Representatives from the VBK provided veterinary food inspection specialist MOS specific-training on sensory evaluation of food. This included a hands-on exercise to distinguish between salty, sweet, bitter, and sour flavors - a skill frequently used in food inspection to determine food quality.
In addition to the hands-on training, the VBK staff also provided instruction focused on accurate and thorough completion of inspection paperwork and demonstration of how to inspect meals ready to eat and operational rations.
Simultaneously, the animal care specialists were credentialed on MOS skills through fast-paced scenario-based training and simulation on how to care for military working dogs.
Staff from the VMCE presented realistic and relevant casualty scenarios to simulate actual wounds, injuries and situations that these Soldiers are expected to evaluate and respond to.
In order to be credentialed, Soldiers were tested on a variety of skills including treatment of traumatic injuries, hot and cold weather injuries, shock, and CBRN response.
PHA R-P leadership says that the training event was successful and beneficial as it emphasized and highlighted the importance of readiness, tactical and technical expertise, and the impact of unit morale on accomplishing the mission.