|Story & photo by Rob Schuette, Public Affairs Staff
Regional Training Site (RTS)-Medical is observing 20 years of service at
Fort McCoy. Its goals are to provide current medical training needed for
missions, including deployment, and to continue to provide relevant unit
and Soldier training in the future.
Regional Training Site-Medical
students from the 2nd, 137th Infantry train on combat life-saver skills.
Lt. Col. Brad Richardson, the RTS-Medical site director, said the
organization is positioning itself to be an expeditionary force as Gen.
George Casey, Army Chief of Staff, advocated in a speech to the
Association of the United States Army earlier this year.
The organization strives to train medical personnel to provide needed
support services to victims of both natural and manmade
disasters/emergencies, such as the responses to Hurricane Katrina and
the earthquakes and/or tsunamis in Haiti and Japan. Richardson said the
training also includes biomedical maintenance to keep the equipment in
top operating condition.
“In these instances, medical personnel in fixed hospitals couldn’t
handle all the medical needs of an emergency,” Richardson said. “So you
set up in structures as mobile support hospitals. This is so-called
Richardson said the RTS-Medical expeditionary mindset goes hand-in-hand
with the Fort McCoy Garrison Command Group’s vision of the future of
military training in the next few years. Military medical personnel
would come to Fort McCoy to prepare and obtain premobilization training,
much like they do at Regional Training Center-Central and for the Combat
Support Training Exercise and Warrior Exercise (WAREX).
RTS-Medical will continue to increase its participation in homeland
security exercises, such as the Red Dragon exercise, he said.
Students attending a Regional
Training Site-Medical biomedical class learn about maintenance
procedures for the most-current equipment.
Red Dragon training focuses on responding to a manmade emergency and
supporting civilian agencies responding to a chemical, biological,
radioactive, nuclear and/or a high-yield explosive disaster scenario.
New this year will be its participation in WAREX, Richardson said. WAREX
trains Army Reserve units in collective Army Warrior Tasks and helps
prepare the units for training/deployment as part of the Army Force
Medical personnel can complement care available at fixed-structure
hospitals in emergencies by offering quick medical, dental and
preventive services, he said. Military personnel also can help
coordinate government resources at the federal, state and local level to
support disaster assistance.
“We are trying to increase our capabilities for the current and future
warfight,” Richardson said. “This entails supporting customers in our
17-state region to the best of our ability.”
RTS-Medical attempts to obtain and incorporate into its training the
latest equipment, or representative samples of that equipment, including
that being used in-theater, he said. That will be critical in a time of
an expected decline in military funding, he said, and helps establish
RTS-Medical as the training site where the most-current medical
equipment is available for medical personnel to train on.
“We are aiming to be a purple (multi-component) training organization,
offering training to all military medical personnel,” he said. “We have
Navy and Army Reserve medical personnel training here. Because we have
many National Guard units throughout Wisconsin, we’re looking at
attracting more National Guard medical personnel or units to train at
RTS-Medical offers one-stop training in its medical complex of buildings
in the 10000 block area. This allows units to conduct all their training
in the area, reduces travel time and minimizes distractions.
Richardson said the latest field is medical communications, where
medical personnel have patient records available electronically, online.
Among the current staples of RTS-Medical training are training with
X-ray equipment and sterilizers, he said. RTS-Medical also offers
pharmacy laboratory training and training with other medical equipment
currently used during deployment. The future will include training with
CAT scan equipment, he said.
RTS-Medical continues to increase its training load. Almost 8,200
personnel trained in training year 2010, and the organization is on pace
to exceed 9,000 personnel trained in training year 2011.
Richardson said the training includes medical exercises, such as Global
Medic, which exercises the functional operational readiness of assigned
medical units in a joint and coalition training environment.
For more information about RTS-Medical training, call 608-388-2544.