News: Global Medic 2009 ends in success
Story by Staff Sgt. Timothy Sander
FORT HUNTER LIGGETT, Calif. — The U.S. Army Reserve is a safer environment these days — due largely to the training that more than 400 medical Soldiers received during Global Medic 2009 June 10-15 at Fort Hunter Liggett, Calif.
Global Medic 2009 is the second annual premier training exercise aimed at replicating all aspects of operations on today's modern battlefield, allowing the Reserve medical community to train as the fight. The exercise simultaneously took place at three Army installations across the United States.
"Global Medic's main purpose is to provide the tools and resources to allow unit commanders to evaluate, assess and train their units," said Col. Eric Rodriguez, deputy commander of the Army Reserve Medical Readiness and Training Command.
During the six-day exercise, Soldiers from ten different Reserve medical units worked side by side with some of their active duty counterparts, as well as support rolls filled by the Marine Corps, Air Force and other key elements of the Army Reserve.
Rodriguez explained that training this way helps all units involved because the more each unit knows about the other's functions, the better they will be able to work together in real-world military operations.
"Everyone is looking at this as their opportunity to exercise their ... skills, to validate their procedures and techniques and use it as a tool to retrain if necessary to maintain the proficiency level required to be successful," said Rodriguez.
The 7305th Medical Training Support Battalion provided a key element of the validation process by observing the units in action and training them for improvement.
"We go in and observe what's happening," said 1st Lt. Loretta Villarreal, observer trainer for Global Medic and member of the 6253rd United States Army Hospital. "At any time, we can inject a scenario to facilitate the achievement of a mission."
Villarreal said she feels honored to know that what she is doing here can ultimately lead to more lives being saved on the battlefield.
Despite the dry weather and the somewhat rustic living environment, morale of Global Medic's participants seemed healthy.
"I was able to talk to the Air Force, Marines and others and everyone is very satisfied in what they have seen and they are willing to come back next year — and that's the whole expectation," said Rodriguez.
For Soldiers like Pvt. Jose Arroyo, an operating room technician for the 349th Combat Support Hospital and a native of Fontana, Calif., the training he is receiving here is a rewarding experience.
"The training we're doing here goes hand and hand with what we will really do in theater," said Arroyo. "It's a great feeling to know people will come in, get fixed and sent back home to their families when they are better."
Operations such as this one have led to a drastic increase in the real-world survivability rate of patients under U.S. care. The current survivability rate for personnel under U.S. care is more than 90 percent — the highest in the history of warfare.