Fort McCoy News October 25, 2013

Medical unit conducts MOS premobilization training

Public Affairs Staff

Members of a hospital medical unit headquartered at Milwaukee trained on military occupational specialty (MOS) skills during premobilization training at Fort McCoy Oct. 6-13.

Photo for 452nd article
Spc. Brittany Peterson (left) and Sgt. Jenn Inderdahl, laboratory technicians with the 452nd Combat Support Hospital, train on military occupational specialty skills at Regional Training Site-Medical Fort McCoy.

The 452nd Combat Support Hospital, an Army Reserve unit, is scheduled to deploy overseas later this year. Capt. Joshua Pete, the 452nd laboratory officer in charge, said the unit includes laboratory technicians, doctors, nurses, combat medics, other medical personnel and support personnel, such as patient administration and supply.

"We've been training on warrior tasks throughout the year," Pete said. "We were here for a combat support training exercise and weapons qualification earlier this year. We will do more training at our final mobilization station."

Being familiar with Fort McCoy helps the unit because they know what type of training they will get and know the support staff will do whatever is possible to meet their training needs, he said.

Regional Training Site (RTS)-Medical Fort McCoy staff know what equipment is used overseas so they work to provide that equipment plus whatever additional medical equipment personnel need to complete their mission.

In some instances, such as laboratory technicians, the personnel don't work in that field in their civilian career. Pete said the premobilization training at Fort McCoy is invaluable because it allows those who work in the field as a civilian to share their information and act as mentors. The training also allows other personnel to refresh their skills and bring them up to date.
Spc. Brittany Peterson, a laboratory technician for the 452nd, said unit members conducted training on each other, including drawing blood, to prepare for deployment.

"It's important to do things right, and training on each other helps (encourage) us to do it right," Peterson said.

Sgt. Michael Cohen, a laboratory technician for the 452nd, brings the unique experience of having been deployed and working as a laboratory technician in his civilian career to the unit.

"I've been deployed before so I know that what we're training on is what we had overseas," Cohen said. "This is good early exposure for everyone, and I can share my experiences with them."

Sgt. Jenn Inderdahl, a 452nd laboratory technician, said she doesn't work in a laboratory as a civilian so the training at Fort McCoy is critical to ensure her MOS skills are up-to-date.

Pfc. Jacob Barbera, a laboratory technician, added having hands-on training at Fort McCoy, instead of getting the information from a book or other written sources, is very valuable since he also doesn't get to work with laboratory equipment in his civilian career.

Capt. Sally Hooks, an intensive care unit nurse with the 452nd, said the MOS training at Fort McCoy, such as the Advanced Cardiac Life Support, is critical because it leads to certification.

"I do this in civilian life, so the certifications and skills I get here can be used in my civilian life and vice versa," Hooks said. "We also have to do training and become familiar with (military topics, such as) operations security, the ethical care of detainees, etc., so we are ready to deploy."

The unit's motto is to "Train to Save, and Honor to Serve," she said.

Gerry Meyer, RTS-Medical administrative officer/executive officer, said it was an honor for RTS-Medical Fort McCoy staff to support the 452nd's deployment training and provide quality training during a period of limited government service.

"We're ready to support deployment training for any medical units that need it and at any time," Meyer said. "We also offer medical training for units here for extended or basic combat training sessions and will tailor the training to meet unit needs."