By Sgt. 1st Class Maurice SmithJuly 12, 2019
ZAGAN, Poland -- Medics from the 101st Brigade Support Battalion, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division are finalizing a series of medical rodeos during their nine-month deployment in Europe.
Charlie Company, 101st BSB has completed four out of five scheduled rodeos during the deployment, with the last rodeo scheduled to be completed in July. Maintaining combat readiness is the focus, according to Cpt. Savannah Smith, brigade surgeon for 1ABCT, 1ID.
"Not only are we looking at the readiness portion, which is extremely important, but we are also looking at ways we can optimize Soldiers' health prior to [future operations]," said Smith.
The Devil Brigade deployed in early 2019 to support Atlantic Resolve, helping to provide ready, combat credible forces through multinational training and security cooperation activities.
During this time, the brigade has sent medical teams throughout Poland, Bulgaria and Romania to provide services such as dental, behavioral health, immunizations and physical therapy to Soldiers within the unit.
"We have been able to offer service for the 3,500 Soldiers we have out here," said Cpt. Courtney Pernia, brigade nurse, C Co, 101 BSB, 1ABCT, 1ID.
"We've provided over 120 immunizations while we are here in Zagan, and again, it's contributing to that medical readiness and enabling our forces to be ready to go should they need to go anywhere that duty calls," she said.
The 1ABCT Soldiers are spread in various locations throughout Europe. Each location has basic medical care, but every location does not have the same assets provided by the medical teams sent out for the rodeo.
Soldiers often have to travel to see health specialists such as a dentist or behavioral health. Sometimes Soldiers run into transportation issues trying to reach these locations for care, according to Cpt. Ryan J. Lynch, brigade physical therapist, C Co, 101st BSB, 1ABCT.
"Here [at Zagan], I'm averaging about four to five patients per day, which isn't a ton. But given the circumstances, a lot of these are people from [other locations], so they have to find [transportation] to come here. I was able to get our medics to drive down, pick them up and bring them here," Lynch explained.
Although combat readiness is the primary focus, the medical team is also promoting awareness because they enjoy informing and helping fellow Soldiers.
"We're just glad to be out here servicing all of the troops," said Cpt. Giovanna Dainty, brigade dentist, C Co, 101 BSB, 1ABCT, 1ID.
"Everyone is so spread out, but we have the opportunity to travel and gain rapport with all of the other units. It's been an experience and we really enjoy it," said she said.