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February 10, 2012

Training

Navy medical personnel refine winter-survival skills at RTS-Medical

Naval medical personnel tested and refined their winter-survival skills during a Jan. 18-22 training session at Fort McCoy.

The reservists, who are from Expeditionary Medical Force (EMF), headquartered at Great Lakes, Ill., trained on the facets of establishing and running a deployable medical system.
PHOTO: Expeditionary Medical Force Naval personnel conduct medical triage unloading of simulated patients. Photo by Rob Schuette
Expeditionary Medical Force Naval personnel conduct medical triage unloading of simulated patients at Fort McCoy as part of a training exercise supported by Regional Training Site-Medical. (Photo by Rob Schuette)
PHOTO: Naval medical personnel from the Expeditionary Medical Force construct a temper tent. Photo by Rob Schuette
Naval medical personnel from the Expeditionary Medical Force construct a temper tent at Fort McCoy as part of a training exercise supported by Regional Training Site-Medical. (Photo by Rob Schuette)
PHOTO: A student (left) and instructor from the Expeditionary Medical Force evacuate a simulated casualty from a field site. Photo by Rob Schuette
A student (left) and instructor from the Expeditionary Medical Force evacuate a simulated casualty from a field site as part of a training exercise supported by Regional Training Site-Medical. (Photo by Rob Schuette)

Hospital Corpsman Second Class (Fleet Marine Force) Bill Brickson, EMF Great Lakes One, Cold Weather Training Officer (E-5), said the Naval medical personnel need to function in all types of weather to accomplish their missions.

Fort McCoy is a good location to train because of the Regional Training Site (RTS)-Medical facilities, support staff assistance and installation support.

Fort McCoy can support land navigation training, set up casualty training, assist unit members in training for their mission-essential task list and provide access to the virtual convoy operations trainer and the Humvee Egress Assistance Trainer. As an added bonus, the area received a heavy dose of winter weather, including several inches of snow and cold weather, just as the training began, Brickson said.

“RTS-Medical is great in assisting us with our training,” Brickson said. “They can tailor our training package whether it is January or August and are extremely easy to work with.”

During the Fort McCoy training, unit members also ran a triage operation in cold weather, and conducted several field exercises to learn how to retrieve injured personnel from field environments. Brickson said the personnel also used the Engagement Skills Trainer to practice various scenarios and refine their techniques on using several weapons systems.

Unit members train at Fort McCoy three-to-four times a year. Brickson said the unit accomplishes cold-weather training on an annual basis and also conducts other training that supports their mission, no matter where the unit is located.

Gerry Meyer, RTS-Medical executive officer, said RTS-Medical provides all the equipment and training needs for medical winter training except for individual clothing. That is provided through Fort McCoy.

“RTS-Medical offers the same training for all (medical) branches of service in accordance with their regulations,” Meyer said. “The skills honed vary by individual, section and team level.”

“The primary purpose of this training was to use the hospital equipment in cold weather,” Meyer added. “This is part of the training they take so they can function in all weather conditions, save lives and can survive in all the conditions they may encounter on the battle field.”

Meyer said RTS-Medical personnel offer training year-round.

Brickson said although there are slight differences in the way Naval and Army medical personnel train, the end is result is the medical care for all servicemembers is the same.

“We have a very good exchange of information with RTS-Medical staff members, and we are able to learn from each other,” he said.

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