News: Chaos and confusion: Navy course brings battlefield stressors to the classroom
Story by Lance Cpl. Shawn Valosin
CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. - Sailors with 2nd Medical Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group attended a three-day Tactical Combat Casualty Care/Combat Lifesaver (TCCC/CLS) course here, Sept. 24 to 26.
The course was split between two days of classroom instruction on treating a variety of wounds and ailments on the battlefield, followed by a day of practical application exercises.
“[The training] is very important … TCCC simplifies everything, breaks it down into steps and gives people the tools and knowledge necessary to save lives during combat.” said Petty Officer Third Class Joshua O’Hara, an instructor and corpsman with 2nd Medical Bn.
Throughout the practical application portion of the course, service members participate in physical training and then enter a structure known as the Kill House, where they must clear rooms, treat victims, and then evacuate them. The inside of the house is almost completely dark, with the exception of strobe lights, pushing students’ abilities by forcing them to feel out casualties and find and treat their wounds without being able to see clearly.
Students work on high-tech mannequins, which can emulate myriad human injuries, including bleeding and foaming at the mouth. The mannequins also respond to treatments given. If a victim was bleeding profusely from a limb and a tourniquet was applied properly, the bleeding would cease.
Aside from the stress of being unable to see clearly in the Kill House, students must also work through explosions, simulated enemy personnel, and constant shouting from instructors.
“It recreates the chaos, confusion, dirt and nastiness of the battlefield,” said Petty Officer Second Class Cyrus Cunningham, a corpsman and student attending the course.
Sailors, as well as Marines, can go to the TCCC/CLS course, and the instructors encourage as many units as possible to take part in the training.
“The course is continually updated whenever one of our corpsmen returns from a deployment so that members going through the training can be prepared for what they might encounter,” said Petty Officer Second Class Frankie Segura, an instructor with 2nd Medical Bn.