Fort McCoy News Oct. 14, 2016

CSH Soldiers sharpen skills at RTS-Medical

STORY & PHOTOS BY SCOTT T. STURKOL
Public Affairs Staff

Sixty Soldiers with the 801st Combat Support Hospital (CSH) trained at Fort McCoy's Regional Training Site (RTS)-Medical to build job-specific and deployment skills.

The 801st CSH, headquartered at Fort Sheridan, Ill., brought Soldiers from a variety of medical military occupational specialties (MOS) from the unit's higher headquarters, Alpha and Bravo companies, and a detachment to train at the installation for two weeks in September.

Soldiers with the 801st Combat Support Hospital, headquartered at Fort Sheridan, Ill., put together the framework for a tent that could be used for a combat support hospital while training at Regional Training Site-Medical at Fort McCoy in September.
Soldiers with the 801st Combat Support Hospital, headquartered at Fort
Sheridan, Ill., put together the framework for a tent that could be used
for a combat support hospital while training at Regional Training Site-
Medical at Fort McCoy in September.

"We came (to RTS-Medical) to get specific training completed," said Sgt. 1st Class Clayton Green, noncommissioned officer in charge of the 801st training rotation.

"One of those areas of training was to learn how to set up a 44-bed (field) hospital through deployable medical systems (DEPMEDS) training."

The first week of instruction focused on DEPMEDS training, which involves the establishment of a CSH from the ground up, said RTS-Medical Instructor Ashley Feauto.

Training topics included CSH planning, tent establishment and disestablishment, power generation and distribution, and water distribution and wastewater management, which are all required to build, operate, and maintain a field hospital.

"If they can't establish their hospital correctly … and if they can't complete the ancillary skills that we train them on here … their hospital will never function correctly," Feauto said. "That's why doing the DEPMEDS portion of training in setting up the tent, the power, and water is so vital to their mission. You have to have a facility to work from."

Green said the training is especially important to CSH units as the Army moves back to preparing Soldiers for deployment to anywhere in the world, including locations where no infrastructure has been established, versus deploying to a fixed location in a desert environment.

"Over the last 10 to 15 years, when Soldiers deploy somewhere, it has generally been to locations where facilities are already established, including hospitals," Green said.

"In a unit like ours, we have to be able to be self-sufficient," said 1st Lt. Hilary Eichie, 801st officer in charge for the training. "This training helps us get closer to that goal."

The second week of training for 801st Soldiers focused more on MOS-specific skills. For example, Feauto said she provided "by the book" training on medical communications for combat casualty care for the 801st.

801st Combat Support Hospital Soldiers learn to assemble and disassemble an M1002 Dolly Set trailer.
801st Combat Support Hospital Soldiers learn to assemble and
disassemble an M1002 Dolly Set trailer.

"We have to show them how to do it per the manual," Feauto said. "If we don't teach them the right way — the way the manual says to do it and the way the Army regulates (how) it's done … then your final product is going to be subpar."

Green and Eichie said the instruction they received was very useful.

"I always enjoy coming to Fort McCoy to do this kind of training," Green said. "I think the instruction that we get is great, and the instructors are very knowledgeable about everything they show us."

Eichie added, "We (were) very happy to be here. We have more than 180 people in our unit, and now we will be able to take what we learned back with us and get all of our personnel trained up."

RTS-Medical Training Manager Gary Watkins said the organization specializes in preparing medical units like the 801st by offering a full-spectrum training platform, capable of providing all of the equipment, instructors, and facilities to conduct individual training, medical MOS sustainment training, and collective training in a wide variety of areas. RTS-Medical can be a valuable training resource by allowing units to assemble and train in one location, minimize distractions, and train on mission-critical functions.

"We offer broad-spectrum training," Watkins said.

"We offer everything they need to know from the time they get a set of orders to establishing a combat support hospital. We take them all the way through to actually maintaining and operating a combat support hospital and more. We also train them within their MOS … so we teach the whole gamut."

RTS-Medical has been a tenant activity and training partner at Fort McCoy since 1991.

For more information about RTS-Medical training, call 608-388-2544.