|U.S. Army medical training personnel and civilian
operational staff of Medical Simulation Training Centers (MSTCs) from
throughout the Army gathered at the Fort McCoy MSTC for a three-day
conference Aug. 30-Sept. 1.
The attendees focused on the exemplary capabilities offered at this
site, and lessons learned throughout the history of this Armywide
training program, currently available at 18 locations, said Master Sgt.
Bruce Kaufman, the Fort McCoy MSTC noncommissioned officer in charge.
Staff from the Medical Simulation
Training Center at Fort McCoy conduct a medical-trauma lane
demonstration during a Program Executive Office for Simulation,
Training and Instrumentation conference held at Fort McCoy.
(Photo by Rob Schuette)
Best practices were a focal point in order to promote standardization
in MSTC training.
The annual conference, now in its third year, has the location selected
based upon the lessons learned and excellent capabilities offered to
promote dialog for system improvement, Kaufman said.
“It is a great honor for the Fort McCoy MSTC to be selected by the
Program Executive Office for Simulation, Training and Instrumentation
(PEO-STRI) to host this year’s conference.”
Kaufman further credited the success and selection of the Fort McCoy
MSTC to the “unending efforts and personal sacrifice of his team” —
contractors and a garrison-supplied noncommissioned officer.
The Fort McCoy MSTC opened in January 2009 and provides state-of-the-art
medical simulation training to all Soldiers and medics. The two primary
courses offered at the Fort McCoy MSTC are the seven-day Medical
Education and Demonstration of Individual Competence Training and
Testing (TC 8-800) and the four-day Combat Life Saver Course. Kaufman
said the MSTC’s main customers are U.S. Army Reserve and Army National
“Our main mission is to keep Army medics’ trauma-treatment skills
proficient. The MSTC also trains combat lifesavers using medical
simulation. Last year we served 6,000 Soldiers, and we’re at about 5,000
Soldiers trained in fiscal year 2011,” Kaufman said.
The MSTC program provides a standardized set of simulation equipment,
such as mannequins, moulage, and audio/sound systems. At Fort McCoy this
is augmented through higher-command funding to increase the realism of
the medical training. Fort McCoy, for example, has a trauma lane that
resembles a small Iraq village.
“This was constructed last spring specifically to support MSTC
training,” Kaufman said. He further stated “the end result is
medical-simulation technology put together in a package for
‘cutting-edge’ medical training.”
The Fort McCoy MSTC is aligned with the installation’s Directorate of
Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security (DPTMS), which coordinates
its training needs.
Brad Stewart, DPTMS director, said hosting the Integrated Product
Team-MSTC Conference was a tremendous opportunity for Fort McCoy to
showcase the challenging and complex training the MSTC team currently
provides for combat medics.
“Since the first class in 2009, the MSTC training team has integrated
lessons learned from Operation Iraqi Freedom (now Operation New Dawn)
and Operation Enduring Freedom into training life-saving measures at the
point of injury that are saving Soldiers’ lives,” Stewart said. “As a
result, their Program of Instruction has evolved, and now they are
demonstrating those changes during the conduct of this conference.” The
MSTC teaches courses that ensure units are prepared to deploy with
well-trained medics to support the operational commanders in contingency
Sgt. Maj. Mohamed Reshad, who is with the Army Reserve Medical Command
and also a contractor from PEO-STRI in Orlando, Fla. (the conference
sponsor), said the medical personnel attending the conferences review
lessons learned and best practices. Reshad is a military analyst for
medical simulations for PEO-STRI.
“We get to see how training is conducted at the various facilities, and
the new medical MOUT (military operations in urban terrain) lane site
here is one of the more-impressive ones I have seen,” Reshad said. “You
can see what Fort McCoy MSTC has done and get design ideas. The
conference is good because you also can get together with the other
people attending to share ideas and network with them.”
Reshad said, “The MSTCs allow Soldiers to constantly practice their
medical tasks until the tasks become committed to memory and become
second nature. This is important in combat situations because Soldiers
don’t have time to think through their actions, but must react and
Reshad also said the participants conducted a type of Lean-Six Sigma
brain-storming session. Attendees listed three things they do well,
three things they could improve upon, one thing they would do if
possible and one thing they would change.
Additionally, Fort McCoy MSTC personnel presented a demonstration of the
MOUT medical-trauma lane, where conference participants watched a
simulated medical-trauma training exercise.
Lt. Col. Vincent Leto, the Deputy U.S. Army EMS Programs Management
Division and Army Medical Department Center and School MSTC Program
Director, said it was good to come to Fort McCoy and see how the
training works at a reserve-component site.
He compared the active-duty sites, which have a medical training
population stationed on post, to challenges of serving a dispersed
reserve-component training population.
Most notable were the multiple strategies to inform and recruit medical
personnel to come and train at the Reserve and National Guard locations.
Leto continued to point out that Kaufman and his team have done a superb
job reaching out and bringing to Fort McCoy trainees from throughout the
“It is great to get a chance to see the physical site and walk it. You
get a better feel for what is being done,” Leto said. “The chance to
meet people and talk face-to-face with them helps build working
relationships that normally occur over a great distance.”
For example, attendees were not only from the continental United States’
MSTCs, but also from those located at Korea, Germany, Alaska and Hawaii.
Overall, Leto said he appreciated PEO-STRI’s hosting of this conference
as it “allowed all the people involved, including contractors, to meet
and talk training to improve the MSTC program delivery.”