Soldiers assigned to the Forward Support Medical Platoon, Charlie Company, 2nd Battalion, 3rd General Support Aviation Battalion, 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, provided simulated medical evacuations in support of the14th Field Hospital validation exercise at Fort Stewart, Georgia, Sept. 7-19, 2022.
To continuously support the 14th FH the FSMP stayed in the field, along with their aircrafts.
“Anytime we go to the field we're always bringing our helicopters with us, I mean in aviation you don't go anywhere without your aircraft,” said Cpl. Nicholas Barnes, a UH-60 helicopter repairer assigned to Charlie Company. “Sometimes you'll be in the field, but you'll be stationed at the hangars where you're not actually in the field.”
Having an FSMP placed next to the hospital gave opportunities for the 14th FH to utilize and practice 9-line MEDEVACs and get familiar with how to move around a helicopter.
“Not everybody who works in a field hospital, or role two, knows how to properly utilize MEDEVAC or how to act around a helicopter that is actually spinning and the capabilities of what we are able to do in the aircraft,” said Sgt. Ricardo Hernandez, a combat medic assigned to Charlie Company.
During the validation exercise the FSMP performed multiple medical evacuations with simulated casualties. The MEDEVAC crews in most scenarios were the first to respond and provide care to the simulated casualties.
The 14th FH validation exercise provided the MEDEVAC crews the opportunity to train and stay mission ready by putting them through challenges that mirror those they may face in real life scenarios.
“It's one of those things where the more you do it, the better you get at it,” said Barnes “The quicker we are able to get to the site of the emergency the faster we can get the patient to the health care that they need.”
Being able to provide medical evacuations gives patients a better chance of survival, whereas with ground transportation it may take longer for them to receive medical care. The MEDEVAC Soldiers pushed through many different simulated medical scenarios to test their knowledge and capabilities.
The MEDEVAC Soldiers conducted numerous medical evacuation calls and had the opportunity to simulate on ground medical care and care while in the aircraft.
Being attached to the 14th FH allowed the 3rd CAB Soldiers to conduct numerous medical evacuation calls and receive training that is not very common. During the training medical personnel on the aircraft had the opportunity to simulate on ground medical care and care while in the aircraft. Medical personnel also had the opportunity to perform aid to cadavers.
“It's nice for us being in the MEDEVAC community, that may or may not have deployed, to work with the role two and the role three, and then actually getting real life cadavers for training for the medics in the back,” said Mills.
Not only were there obstacles for the MEDEVAC Soldiers to overcome but the pilots also had to deal with the weather conditions and the landing zones. Being able to fly in clear safe weather was a constant factor to the crew.
“The challenges that we face are coordination with internal dark crews, communication with the different hospitals, role two ground forces, how fast can we get there and the challenges en route.” said Chief Warrant Officer two Matthews Mills, a flight chief assigned to Charlie Company.
Continuous training and developing FSMP Soldiers sets them up for success in providing the best medical care they can as they provide real world support to Fort Stewart’s training areas.