FORT HOOD, Texas – Medic! The word screamed alone brings chilling thoughts to many soldiers; however, for medics with the “Warrior” Brigade, a very intense and in-your-face training was held to ensure its combat medics are ready to preserve life at a moment’s notice.
Healthcare specialists with the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade “Warrior,” 1st Cavalry Division, were pushed to the limit, April 29 to May 3, during medical trauma training at the Medical Simulation Training Center, here.
During the intense training, 14 Warriors had their skills validated by instructors from Company B, 187th Medical Battalion, 32nd Medical Brigade from Fort Sam Houston, Texas, who were very demanding, said Sgt. Kathleen Caplinger, a healthcare specialist with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st ACB and College Station, Texas, native.
“During this training we’ve been getting down and dirty,” Caplinger said. “Our skills are being verified during realistic combat situations to ensure we treat properly while providing basic care to casualties at the point of injury.”
The training not only taught soldiers new tactics, techniques and procedures, but it also functioned as a refresher by allowing troops the opportunity to get hands on with simulated casualties while being put under intense, realistic pressure to prevent the loss of life, Caplinger said.
“In garrison you can potentially lose some of your skills and speed in executing them,” she explained. “I’ve been a medic for nine years, and this training helped sharpen some of the skills I haven’t put to use in an extended time.”
Capt. Robert Levesque, officer in charge for the instructor team with B Company, 187th, said his team’s goal is to ensure all combat medics are prepared both mentally and physically to accomplish their job under any circumstance.
We travel to brigade combat teams and units to validate crucial skills which save lives on the battlefield, Levesque said. “We typically train around 240 medics in two weeks to ensure they’re fully ready to execute.”
Levesque said that training medics is imperative, as the slightest hiccup in treatment can ultimately be fatal.
“Anytime you’re dealing with medicine and trauma you’re dealing with a lot of perishable skills,” Levesque noted. “A lot of its reactive, as the correct intervention at the wrong time can kill a casualty. These realistic lanes the soldiers underwent help to build the necessary confidence medics need in order to save lives.”
As the exercise came to a close, Levesque said the groups really came together during the weeklong instruction and executed as one collective team.
“This group of soldiers did great,” Levesque said. “We had motivated students who understood the importance of this training, as well as great support from III Corps.”