FORT INDIANTOWN GAP, Pa. - Instructors with the Pennsylvania National Guard’s 4th Battalion, 166th Regiment Regional Training Institute (Medical Battalion Training Site), sent off the Army’s newest batch of combat medics after a culminating training exercise March 3.
The combat medics, from the Regular Army, National Guard and Army Reserve, were attending the 68W Healthcare Specialist Military Occupational Specialty Transition Course, hoping to earn the 68W MOS after serving in other MOSs.
Located at Fort Indiantown Gap, the 4/166th RTI (MBTS) is one of the nation’s largest Army National Guard medical schoolhouses. The school’s mission is to train medical tasks to medical and non-medical personnel, with the MOS transition course one of its primary functions.
“There are seven Army National Guard locations that teach this course. Pennsylvania and Mississippi are the largest Army National Guard medical schoolhouses,” said Capt. Catherine Green, administrative officer for the 4/166th RTI (MBTS). “We are slightly larger than Mississippi in manning and footprint.”
The 68W MOS Transition Course, offered three times a year, lasts 57 days. Each class starts with 48 students. Phase 1 consists of national registry EMT certification, and Phase 2 consists of limited primary care and field craft. The final phase is the field training exercise.
During the culminating exercise at Fort Indiantown Gap’s Combined Arms Collective Training Facility, medic trainees were immersed in a simulated mass casualty event in an urban setting. They responded in a convoy, providing security, repelling attacks from an opposing force, providing first aid and evacuating the simulated casualties to a field hospital where they received further care, all while being assessed by instructors.
In addition to the MOS Transition Course, the 4/166th RTI (MBTS) offers the Comprehensive Medical Training Course. That course lasts 15 days and is offered twice a year to students from the Army Reserve, National Guard and Active Guard Reserve.
Green said that course is for Soldiers who require continuing education recertification. They receive 114.5 hours of training in emergency medical limited primary care, force health protection, invasive care skills, combat trauma assessment and evacuation in various clinical settings, from the point of injury or illness through the continuum of military health care.