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August 26, 2011

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RTS-Medical provides medical support for WAREX training at Fort McCoy

Story & photo by Rob Schuette, Public Affairs Staff

Exercises and training that need military medical equipment support have to come to a location, such as Fort McCoy, that has a Regional Training Site (RTS)-Medical organization. Personnel involved in the Warrior Exercise (WAREX) at Fort McCoy benefitted from medical scenarios supported by staff from the installation’s RTS-Medical, said Gerry Meyer.
PHOTO: Soldiers from the Medical Readiness Training Command apply moulage to create a wound on a medical mannequin. Photo by Rob Schuette
Soldiers from the Medical Readiness Training Command apply moulage to create a wound on a medical mannequin for Soldiers to train on during the Warrior Exercise.

Meyer, RTS-Medical executive officer, said the Army has sited its major medical training equipment at RTS-Medical facilities at Fort McCoy, Camp Parks, Calif., and Fort Gordon, Ga.

The approximately 100 units in Fort McCoy’s 16-state coverage area only have basic medical equipment, such as an emergency medical trauma set and one operations tent.

“They all have to come here to use the other equipment and for the training,” Meyer said. “We handle the bigger equipment because the units didn’t have enough time to take care of it properly.”

The medical personnel participated in Global Medic, which is incorporated into the WAREX at Fort McCoy, to provide medical support to the personnel involved in the exercise. Meyer said an advantage of medical training is the services involved in it — Army, Navy and Air Force — all use similar equipment.

During WAREX, medical personnel from the Medical Readiness Training Command (MRTC) at San Antonio helped support the medical needs of the exercise.

Capt. Lita Bryant of the MRTC said medical personnel from the organization created and applied specific wounds/injuries to sophisticated medical mannequins to support the WAREX mission-essential sequence list.

“The mannequins will be used to support (all aspects) of the training, such as the situational training exercises, the field training exercises, etc.,” Bryant said.

Capt. Tiffany Cunningham and Staff Sgt. Kathryn Hubbard from the MRTC Joint Visitor’s Bureau said high-ranking personnel from the MRTC toured the exercise to see how medical assets from all three services were incorporated and used during WAREX. This is good training for real-life scenarios, such as deployments, because when medical personnel are deployed there is a high probability they will be working with medical personnel from other services, Cunningham said.

Lt. Col. Dennis Klatt, RTS-Medical clinic coordinator, said RTS-Medical staff also offers classes to provide refresher training and trauma/emergency information for medical personnel involved in WAREX.

The training for WAREX included Trauma Nursing for nurses, Advanced Cardio/Life Support for medical personnel and Basic Life Support. Klatt said since medical personnel from all services use similar equipment, the RTS-Medical staff can teach basic combat medical skills to all military medical personnel.

“We can teach them how to put up hospitals, connect water and electricity and how to use the equipment,” Klatt said. “It’s a refresher for things they learn during the MOS (military occupational specialty) training and also teaches them things not taught during MOS training.”

Meyer said RTS-Medical can provide training for years one through four in the Army Force Generation cycle. When the organization isn’t holding training from October-February, RTS-Medical mobile training teams visit the units in the organization’s coverage area, which roughly runs north and south from Wisconsin-Minnesota to Louisiana-Texas.

RTS-Medical personnel teach the medical personnel how to use the equipment and also help the units plan for upcoming training.

Lt. Col. Brad Richardson, Fort McCoy RTS-Medical site director, said the medical training he has observed at Fort McCoy “is among the finest medical training I have seen during my military experience.”

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