9th Hospital Center conducts week of mobility training

By Shawn Davis, Fort Cavazos Public AffairsMay 10, 2024

A woman in an operational camouflage pattern uniform, wipes a dipstick with paper towels.
1 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Spc. Victoria Gonzalez, 9th Hospital Center, 1st Medical Brigade, checks the oil of a FMTV A1P2 truck as part of her unit's mobility training for the 11th Field Hospital April 24, 2024, at the 1st Med. Bde. motor pool on Fort Cavazos, Texas. Soldiers from the medical unit cross-train this function in order to enhance their capabilities for setting up the 11th Field Hospital. (Photo Credit: Shawn Davis, Fort Cavazos Public Affairs) VIEW ORIGINAL
A woman in an operational camouflage pattern, or OCP, uniform drags another woman, also in OCPs, on a black mat outside.
2 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Pfc. Mercy Breon, 9th Hospital Center, 1st Medical Brigade, performs a sled drag on Spc. Dayanna Lau, 9th Hospital Center, 1st Med. Bde., during her TC3 evaluation for the Soldier of the Quarter competition during the training for the 9th Hospital Center April 24, 2024, at the 9th Hospital Center. (Photo Credit: Shawn Davis, Fort Cavazos Public Affairs) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT CAVAZOS, Texas — Soldiers from the 9th Hospital Center began the mobility phase of their training April 24 at the 1st Medical Brigade motor pool to learn how to deploy the 11th Field Hospital more efficiently and effectively.

Operating hospitals that are built ground up from cargo containers, Soldiers of the 9th Hospital Center, 1st Med. Bde., are more than medical practitioners, technicians and care providers. They train to master the Soldiering, as described by 9th Hospital Center Commander Lt. Col. Shami, who comes with the logistics of mobilizing and bringing hospital care to the field to maximize survivability rates of those wounded in combat, also providing disaster response and providing medical care on the fly.

“Being in a field hospital requires a variety of skills — people think that the field hospital is just medical individuals doing medical things, but no. As a field hospital we also have to focus on Soldier skills,” Shami said.

Training began April 22 and ran through May 2.

While keeping in mind the mantra, “mobility is life,” the team learned the basic functions and operation of A1P2 trucks and how to load, hitch and transport M1147 trailers that can carry containers with medical stations, temperature-regulated pharmaceutical stations and other supplies.

“Some of these Soldiers here are our medics or OR (operating room) techs and lab techs,” Shami said. “They’re learning how to put CONEXs (container, express) on trailers, so they not only have to know their medical skills, but also some of these essential logistical skills to set up the hospital.”

Instead of transporting CONEX containers one per truck, this capability will allow the 9th Hospital Center to double their transport capacity, increasing their mobility to ensure care is more readily accessible to those that need it via the 11th Field Hospital.

Learning to drive the truck for the first time, Spc. Keyon Mays, a nutrition care specialist with the 9th Hospital Center, 1st Med. Bde., learned basic maintenance items such as checking the truck’s oil before operating the vehicle.

“First impression: I thought it was nerve wracking, but after the first couple of seconds it was like, ‘you know what — I got this,’” Mays said.

Mays looks forward to also becoming a master driver, like his current instructor Sgt. 1st Class Kristian Rubio, so he can pass on his knowledge to other Soldiers.

Also included in the week of training were tryouts for the Soldier of the Quarter competition, which involved contestants Pfc. Mercy Breon and Spc. Dayanna Lau from the 9th Hospital Center, 1st Med. Bde. They displayed skills, such as providing tactical casualty care in combat, weapons reassembly and radio assembly, as well as gas drills that time their ability to put on personal protective equipment.

“This was a good way to see where I’m at, especially with my medical MOS (military occupational specialty),” said Breon. “I love that I’m getting to do these things firsthand and in person. I definitely want to do more practice.”

The unit also conducted voluntary personal vehicle inspections April 26 to make sure its Soldiers are keeping up on all aspects of their readiness.

“It’s really the Soldiers’ efforts and motivation to come out here and learn something new,” Shami said. “I’m a doctor, so I realize how important this is.

Taking care of patients in the hospital is always essential, but if you can’t bring a hospital to the field, if you can’t sustain it, if you can’t move it — you can’t take care of those patients either.”