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March 22, 2013


Combat medics recertify at Regional Training Site-Medical

Story & photos by Rob Schuette, Public Affairs Staff

Combat medics from the North Dakota Army National Guard honed their skills to recertify during a 48-hour mid-March training session at Regional Training Site (RTS)-Medical Fort McCoy.
PHOTO: Combat medic Soldiers from the North Dakota Army National Guard train on medical procedures. Photo by Rob Schuette
Combat medic Soldiers from the North Dakota Army National Guard train on medical procedures during a 48-hour sustainment course at Regional Training Site-Medical Fort McCoy. The Soldiers trained on a number of tasks necessary to perform their duties. At the end of the classroom training, the Soldiers participated in hands-on training to demonstrate how the skills should be applied to a simulated real-world combat/field scenario.

Aaron Simpson, a combat medic with the Minnesota National Guard and an RTS-Medical instructor, said the sustainment training is an annual requirement for combat medics who have the 68W (health care specialist) military occupational specialty (MOS). All units with medical personnel in the RTS-Medical Fort McCoy support area can take the 48-hour Training Circular (TC) 8-800 course.

“We offer more training aids and supplies than the Soldiers would have back in their home units to support their training,” Simpson said. “As instructors, we also ensure we know, use and pass along to our students the Army’s latest and greatest medical technologies, knowledge and lessons learned.”

Troops learn and review the information in a crawl, walk, and run format. Simpson said classroom and hands-on training is provided to teach the basics for medical training requirements in the first seven training tables. A hands-on scenario that challenges them to use all the information they have received and successfully apply it in a combat/field exercise completes the eighth training table and the course.

Capt. Stephanie Collins, a medical operations officer with the 141st Maneuver Enhancement Brigade (MEB) of Fargo, N.D., said the medical personnel taking the training were from a variety of units.

PHOTO: A Regional Training Site-Medical instructor, instructs North Dakota Army National Guard combat medics. Photo by Rob Schuette
Aaron Simpson (second from right), a combat medic with the Minnesota National Guard and a Regional Training Site-Medical instructor, instructs North Dakota Army National Guard combat medics. The Soldiers took a 48-hour sustainment course at Fort McCoy to maintain and certify their combat medic skills.

In addition to the 141st MEB, medical personnel from the 817th Combat Engineer Company and the 188th Engineer Company, the 1st, 188th Air Defense Artillery (ADA) and the 191st Military Police Company participated in the training.

“We have so many taskings that it’s good we come here and everyone is trained in the same way,” Collins said. “That way, if we have to pull medics from these units for a mission, we know they all have the same training and will all provide the same quality treatment.”

Sgt. Eli Peters, a combat medic with the 1st, 188th ADA Rear Detachment of Grand Forks, said his unit does not have facilities or training aids similar to those available at RTS-Medical.

“This is the first time in five years I could do the training all at one time,” Peters said. “It’s not possible to do this at home station.”

Simpson said Soldiers drilling at their home stations must ensure the unit’s mission is accomplished, and sometimes this means the medical training is a lower priority.

Training at RTS-Medical Fort McCoy ensures necessary medical training is received, he said. Many of the personnel work in the medical field in their civilian careers. Simpson said personnel who complete the 48-hour medical training also meet the emergency medical technician (EMT) certification requirements and can work as an EMT in the civilian medical career field.

Several of the troops attending the training work as EMTs for civilian medical organizations and can share their military knowledge in their civilian jobs, he said.

In addition to 68W MOS sustainment training, RTS-Medical also offers a wide variety of medical war fighting functional training to include deployable medical systems, field sanitation, exercise support, Lanes training, combat lifesaver, and collective training events.

For more information about RTS-Medical training at Fort McCoy or at home station, unit personnel can call 608-388-2544 or visit the Army Training Requirements and Resources System, which is the Department of the Army Management Information System of Record for managing student training, school code 930F. Additionally, information about RTS-Medical is available on Facebook (Regional Training Site-Medical).

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