NATICK, Mass. (May 23, 2012) -- Soldiers from the U.S. Army Institute of Environmental Medicine participated in an exercise where they faced roadside bombs, reacted to attacks and defeated the enemy all while never leaving Natick Soldier Systems Center in Natick, Mass.
On the eve of Armed Forces Day, U.S. Army Institute of Environmental Medicine, or USARIEM, Soldiers proved they are ready and fit to fight by successfully accomplishing and passing their annual Army Warrior Task training.
The scenario-based annual Army Warrior Task training exercise is designed to test Soldiers' knowledge of critical Army common tasks that support a unit's wartime missions.
"Army Warrior Training is an initiative to familiarize Soldiers with common tasks that they may see during combat operations," said Capt. Jarrett Heffner, USARIEM military detachment commander. "It helps the Soldier get ready for the things that may be exposed to on the other side of the world."
Volunteers from USARIEM donned authentic costumes and played the enemy, while Soldiers navigated their way through lanes that included identifying and reporting an improvised explosive device, reacting to an indirect rocket attack and finally reacting to a direct attack from the enemy. After the Soldiers successfully completed the lane it was up to them to treat the wounded and get them evacuated to safety.
"These are the basic tasks that we learned in Basic Training," Spc. Marissa Spitz said. "We keep up on our tasks every year and today we practiced some of those skills."
Spitz, who is a biological research assistant for USARIEM, helped score the Soldiers during their training. She said the Soldiers really stepped up into their roles as leaders during the training and that motivation was really high.
"It was great to see everyone participate and have a good time," she said. "The Soldiers are really pumped up to do this today and it was nice to get away from our typical desk jobs and play Army."
Spc. Sheldon Bostic, a biomedical equipment specialist at USARIEM who played the role of team leader on one of the lane agrees.
"I was the team leader for my lane today, so that meant I was giving all the commands throughout the exercise," Bostic said. "I definitely learned a lot. Today re-enforced a lot of my training and I really enjoyed it. There was a lot of good information put out."
As for Heffner, he was really proud of the work that the Soldiers did throughout the training. He said even though he knows everyone was motivated and had fun, that more importantly, this training will prepare USARIEM Soldiers for whatever the future holds for them.
"We really wanted the Soldiers to walk away with a better understanding of what they may experience if they were put in a hostile environment," Heffner said. "I believe after today they will be calm, cool and collected, and they are prepared to deal with life threatening situations."
Located at Natick Soldier Systems Center in Natick, Mass., USARIEM provides solutions to optimize warfighter health and performance through medical research. USARIEM is recognized by many Department of Defense organizations as the trusted leader in medical research for warfighter health and performance.