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    22nd MEU Marines save artificial lives to learn

    Marines learn, practice combat lifesaving techinques

    Photo By Sgt. Theodore Ritchie | Sgt. Tim J. Wagner, right, a native of Bellevue, Ohio, and Sgt. Jared D. Hall, a...... read more read more

    CAMP BUEHRING, AFGHANISTAN

    09.05.2009

    Story by Staff Sgt. Matt Epright 

    22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit

    CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait — The sound of rifle shots crackle through the air. Explosions can be heard in the distance. Wounded men cry out for help, their blood seeping into the hard ground. Marines rush to the aid of the wounded, their training fresh in their minds. They can save these lives.

    Like a scene out of a modern war movie, and just as simulated, Marines and Sailors from the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit used the Camp Buehring, Kuwait, Medical Simulation Training Center to test their Combat Life-Saver skills Aug. 25.

    "They have mannequins that react like a live casualty, with respiration and a pulse. They blink and they bleed," said Petty Officer 1st Class Joseph Rawson, a hospital corpsman who trained the Marines in the CLS skills.

    Fast-talking Philadelphia native Rawson said the Army's MSTC replaces the usual method of testing, which consists of Marines pretending to use first aid supplies on notionally wounded comrades.

    "We really aren't allowed to practice a lot of stuff on each other," he said. "This gives them a little more visual feedback and it puts them a little more in the scenario."

    That feedback is vital to teaching caregivers how to physically perform what they are taught in the classroom.

    "The more hands-on training you can get on these skills, the better off the people are going to be," said training facilitator Lorenzo Saenz. "It needs to be second nature and muscle-memory is absolutely where it's at."

    "It's good to actually see what you're doing," said Sgt. Timothy Wagner, a Marine with the MEU and native of Bellevue, Ohio.

    Wagner, on his third deployment with the MEU, went through both the CLS training and the MSTC simulator last deployment. He said the sound effects were an effective addition over the previous training.

    "This year, they did the noise simulations, so you know what to do when you're under fire," he said, explaining how he had to screen out the distractions. "You just patch up all the holes on the victim and just keep them alive and get them ready for casevac."

    Rawson says it's all about training how you fight.

    "If you train in the situation to where you can drown out surrounding noises, it just gets you in that mindset of how you're going to react to that casualty," he said.

    He went on to explain he even had the Marines wearing their full combat load, with Modular Tactical Vests, Kevlar helmets and rifles, just to add to the level of realism.

    "If you're not wearing the proper gear, you're not going to be able to figure out how it's going to hinder you, how you can work around it," Rawson said. "It was an opportunity for them to adjust themselves to a whole new set of skills."

    Wagner says the training is excellent, not only for Marines like him who are constantly deployed, but for any Marine.

    "You could be someone that is just at a training site, setting up tents. The wind blows, one of those tents breaks and a pole jabs through someone," he offered as an example. "What do you do?"

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 09.05.2009
    Date Posted: 09.05.2009 17:31
    Story ID: 38395
    Location: CAMP BUEHRING, AF

    Web Views: 969
    Downloads: 870

    PUBLIC DOMAIN