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    108th ASMC completes annual training in Iowa

    108th ASMC completes annual training in Iowa

    Photo By Sgt. 1st Class HollyAnn Nicom | Members of the 108th Area Support Medical Company, 213th Regional Support Group,...... read more read more

    CAMP DODGE, Iowa—Soldiers assigned to the 108th Area Support Medical Company, 213th Regional Support Group, Pennsylvania Army National Guard, conducted their annual training at Camp Dodge Joint Maneuver Training Center in Johnston, Iowa from Aug. 3-16, 2019.

    Every year, Army National Guard units are required to conduct annual training, which lasts approximately two weeks and is a block of time to be used for improving unit cohesion and individual Soldier skills. Camp Dodge is an ideal training site to improve collective unit tasks and receive Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) validation for combat medic specialists, which make up more than half the unit.

    The 108th ASMC divided into three separate training areas during their first week: the Sustainment Training Center (STC), the Medical Simulation Training Center (MSTC) and supervised hospital clinical visits at the Broadlawns Medical Center (BMC). The training culminated in an intense, realistic three-day field training exercise (FTX) that tested both individual and collective skills of the members of the 108th ASMC on a simulated battlefield.

    The STC, a national organization owned by the National Guard Bureau, supported the training needs of all of the military occupational specialties (MOS) that make up the 108th ASMC and allowed each section in the unit to work on their specific job skill. The 108th ASMC is a unique company because offers a higher echelon of care while being self-sustaining on a battlefield.

    “We are actually looked at as a Role 2 Plus because we have some enhanced services, like a mess section and a maintenance section,” said 1st Sgt. Chad Schell of the 108th ASMC, who, after 29 years of service, was participating in his last annual training.

    “We would stay stationary on an LSA (Logistical Support Area) with hard-stand buildings, usually a little farther to the rear and we control the whole area as far as medical support,” said Schell. “So, a lot of times other medical units evacuate their more critical patients to us because we are the next level up,” he went on to explain.

    To remain mission-capable and hone their skill sets, Soldiers with the 108th ASMC got the opportunity to participate in first-rate, hands-on training specifically designed to help them refine their standard operating procedures (SOPs) for providing patient care.

    Combat medic specialists assigned to the 108th took advantage of training at the Medical Simulation Training Center (MSTC) at Camp Dodge, which focused on individual medical training. The MSTC, a separate entity from the STC, offered individualized classes and evaluations aimed at ensuring the medics were each favorably qualified. There are less than 25 MSTC’s around the globe.

    Combat medic specialists are required to have 72 hours of continuing education sustainment training every two years. The combat medics that went through the MSTC, completed 48 hours of their required individual training and their biennial EMT validation.

    Every Soldier that trained at the MSTC was individually tested on combat casualty assessment, which evaluated their ability to react to trauma patients in a battlefield scenario. They were also given an EMT Psychomotor Examination assessment, which validated their abilities to gauge patient predicaments as if they were arriving at a sick call.

    The STC holds also a unique collaboration with the BMC, in nearby Des Moines, to introduce specialized Soldiers to enhanced patient care. These Soldiers, who allow the company to offer the next level of medical care, had the rare opportunity to perform clinical rotations, shadowing specific hospital department personnel at the BMC.

    “The Broadlawns opportunity was good for me to get to see all of these procedures that I don’t normally get to see because I don’t work in X-ray yet (in my civilian job),” said Spc. Jeniffer Hallowell, a radiology specialist assigned to the 108th ASMC who had the opportunity to travel to BMC nearly every day during the first week of her annual training. “Getting to be in that surrounding was beneficially to me.”

    The medical company spent the second week putting their skills to the test while working together as a unit to provide patient care through a plethora of scenarios.

    “The first week is slow because each Soldier gets refresher training for their particular job skill,” said Sgt. 1st Class Benjamin Barnes, the STC Medical Training NCOIC. “The second week, the company is challenged with all of the sections working together on a simulated battlefield.”

    At the start of the second week, each section of the 108th ASMC was expected to prepare and familiarize themselves with their equipment. Members of the evacuation platoon had to set up and tear down the Role 1 medical treatment facility, which was housed in a Deployable Rapid Assembly Shelter (DRASH) tent each day.

    The FTX was unique in that Soldiers were externally evaluated near the end of their training that consisted of battlefield scenarios and of the use of high tech mannequins and life-like moulage in the form of wearable prosthetic wounds.

    “They had a cut suit that we were able to put a chest tube in,” said Spc. Gregory Mondragon, a combat medic specialist assigned to the 108th ASMC who had been to the STC in Iowa six years ago. “That was new and something I’ve never had the opportunity to do before.”

    Members of the STC staff said they saw definite company progress from the first day of the FTX to the last. “Their biggest improvement during the FTX was the speed of treatment: stabilizing and getting that patient to the next echelon of care,” said Barnes.

    Leadership of the 108th ASMC, who were told five years ago that they would have this opportunity to train at the STC in Iowa, were excited for the chance to learn and perform as a collective company in this particular training environment.

    “We can get a Role 1 set up, the evacuation, actual Role 2 with our equipment and our sets here that we didn’t have to bring,” said company commander Maj. Christopher Jones. “It’s truly a company level event using all of our resources and the requirements to bring it all out and it’s really awesome for us.”



    Date Taken: 08.15.2019
    Date Posted: 08.16.2019 10:13
    Story ID: 336093
    Location: IA, US

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