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    U.S Army Reserve Veterinary Corps train at local dairy farm



    Story by Spc. Kayla Silvers 

    209th Broadcast Operations Detachment

    Soldiers with the 993rd Medical Detachment Veterinary Services (MDVS) out of Aurora, Colo., enhanced their skills by evaluating livestock and inspecting a facility at Gibbons Dairy Farm near Ft. McCoy, Wis., while participating in Operation Global Medic, a Combat Support Training Exercise (CSTX) 86-19-03 at Ft. McCoy, July 26, 2019.

    “What we are doing here is important because it assures that the U.S Army Reserve can maintain a fighting force,” said Cpl. Stephen Davis, a veterinary food inspection specialist. Davis’ duty is to identify unsanitary conditions in storage facilities that house food and report suspected fraud if any findings show that regulations have been compromised. “The quickest way to put down [sicken] a unit is to tamper with the food and contaminate the drinking water, so we make sure the food is good to eat and the water is good to drink to ensure the fighting force is ready to fight,” he said.

    Operation Global Medic gave the 993rd the opportunity to gain valuable experience they couldn’t get elsewhere. Coming all the way from Aurora, Colo., training at Ft. McCoy gave them the chance to tour and train at a real, working dairy farm. It is important exposure to the types of missions they may face in a deployed environment when inspecting a facility that the military has a contract with in a different country with local farmers.

    Another military occupational specialty (MOS) in the MDVS is the animal care specialist. While the duty of this MOS varies from routine daily care for animals in facilities, to assisting a veterinarian in surgical procedures, U.S. Army Reserve Sgt. Jessica Carr suggests that the training at the dairy farm was an experience she was open to have. “It is an extra bonus that veterinary technicians get to experience,” said Carr. “You need to see this from start to finish so you can get respect for what these guys do on a daily basis.”

    While Carr has worked as a veterinary technician for over 18 years, she has never had an opportunity to train at a dairy farm before this exercise. For Carr, the main mission here is to inoculate the cows and provide veterinary support for this dairy farm, as well as working with the field veterinarian, Capt. Yvette Breden.

    Breden is an experienced field veterinarian with 28 years as a civilian veterinarian and 11 years with the military. Breden considers this opportunity to visit a dairy farm as one where veterinarian technicians and veterinary food inspection specialists can come out and work together with field veterinarians to make the mission happen.

    “It’s part of the combat support training exercise, so this is what we would do if we were called to that team. We would get a mission for food inspection and auditing and food consumption,” said Breden. “We go by a checklist. The health of the cow and the general practices for hygiene and to make sure they’re not producing milk from a cow that has an infection. We are also looking for their vaccination status to make sure they are up to date on all their vaccines.”

    While on mission, Army veterinarians are concerned about diseases that can be passed on from animals to other humans. “Because the FDA and USDA have their own protocols and set of regulations, the US Army and Department of Defense have a higher standard. [The Army] is more astringent and more focused on zoonotic food borne infections,” Breden said.



    Date Taken: 07.26.2019
    Date Posted: 07.30.2019 12:10
    Story ID: 333628
    Location: FORT MCCOY, WI, US 
    Hometown: AURORA, CO, US

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