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    Tough, realistic medical training at NTC

    Tough, realistic medical training at NTC

    Photo By Sgt. 1st Class Tomora Nance | Pvt. Andrew Alaniz, a medic with the Regimental Support Squadron “Muleskinner,”...... read more read more



    Story by Staff Sgt. Tomora Nance 

    3d Cavalry Regiment Public Affairs Office

    FORT IRWIN, Calif. – A high-pitched whistle screams through the once calm, desert air. Someone shouts “incoming,” and suddenly a loud, thunderous boom rattles the previously solid ground within a mile radius. Rat-tat-tat-tat. Gunfire erupts from all directions. All of a sudden, the battlefield is eerily silent, and out of nowhere, someone shouts “Medic!” followed by more people—Soldiers to be exact, echoing the same. The shouting is loud; it’s almost deafening.

    Why doesn’t this scene incite chaos? Because it’s all part of training at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California.
    Medics with 3d Cavalry Regiment are experiencing this realistic, tough battlefield training during their month-long exercise at NTC as part of the 16-04 rotation.

    The training at NTC helps prepare units for upcoming deployments. Medics are just one of many military occupational specialties who receive this pre-deployment training while at NTC.

    “This is good training,” said Pvt. Andrew Alaniz, a healthcare specialist with the Regimental Support Squadron “Muleskinner,” 3d CR. “I like it because it’s realistic, and we get a wide array of casualties to practice our skills.”

    Alaniz described not only the battle scene, but also how Troopers get their “injuries” after a simulated battle.

    “The injured Soldiers get these cards handed to them by the observer controllers after a battlefield engagement,” said the Alice, Texas native.” Those cards gives instructions on how the patient is to respond, as well as what type of injury they sustained.”

    Sgt. 1st Class Marvin Williams, senior enlisted medical trainer with Gold Miner team, is one of many observer controllers among Operations Group for NTC. Williams specifically oversees the training conducted by the Brave Rifles medics.

    “We hand Soldiers the casualty cards that indicate how they were injured, the diagnosis, and the patient instructions,” said Williams. “We keep track of all the casualties who we hand cards to and how long it takes the medics to perform treatment on those patients.”

    Not only do medics practice their skills on other Brave Rifles Troopers wounded in action, they also get to practice on civilian role players.

    “The training here is like a capstone; they get training at their home station then come here,” said Williams. “It gives them a better idea of being in a deployed environment because the stress is higher here than back at home station.”

    Pvt. Andrew Alaniz recently graduated from Advanced Individual Training in August 2015, and arrived to 3d CR shortly after. This is his first time training at NTC.

    “I was always interested in being a medic and interested in the healthcare field,” said Alaniz. “I’m very happy I chose this MOS; I feel like I’m getting a lot of good training out here.”

    As a new Soldier, training like this can sometimes be difficult, but Alaniz said his squad leader, Staff Sgt. Bruce Cardenas, helped him understand the medic’s role on the battlefield.

    “My squad leader has been helping me out a lot because he’s been a medic for 10 years and has a lot of experience,” said Alaniz.

    Cardenas said NTC offers unique training not always available back at the home station.

    “This is my second rotation to NTC,” said Cardenas. “Unlike our field training back at Fort Hood, NTC actually gives you the full combat experience because we are actually living out here every day, and we even wake up in the middle of the night to treat casualties.”

    “Pvt. Alaniz has done really well out here,” Cardenas added. “When he arrived to our unit, he was fresh out of AIT, and then we went into a field exercise at Fort Hood. For me, I see a huge difference from then to now”

    Alaniz said the training will only help him grow as a Soldier.

    “This training will help me later on in life, especially with my MOS,” said Alaniz.



    Date Taken: 02.23.2016
    Date Posted: 02.26.2016 12:30
    Story ID: 190233
    Location: FORT IRWIN, CA, US 
    Hometown: ALICE, TX, US

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