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    Staying Mission Ready with Rising Temperatures

    Staying Mission Ready with Rising Temperatures

    Photo By Keisha Frith | 1st Lt. Ansel Arizmendi, chief of Environmental Health, Womack Army Medical Center...... read more read more



    Story by Keisha Frith 

    Womack Army Medical Center

    FORT BRAGG, NC. -- Though increased temperatures can pose quite a risk, Soldiers training and mission can continue as they utilize different tools to mitigate those risks. The temperature on the Wet Bulb Globe Temperature Monitor (WBGT) outside the building of 1st Lt. Ansel Arizmendi, chief of Environmental Health at Womack Army Medical Center (WAMC) read 92.3 degrees Fahrenheit. The next few days were supposed to be around the same temperature or higher. Arizmendi knows that regardless of the heat, training and exercise must continue as Soldiers remain mission ready, however, leadership and individuals can take different steps to ensure their safety and that of their team.

    “All leaders at all levels from the highest rank to the lowest rank have to be familiar with all the principles of how we can manage risk,” said Arizmendi. “Risk of injury, illness and death, because any heat injury can cause death, so that’s why we are concentrating our energy on preventing heat illness.”

    Leaders should allow soldiers to acclimate to hot and humid weather, a combination he states normally takes between 10 to 14 days, especially when Soldiers are coming from other places where the temperature may vary like Alaska. They need 10 to 14 days to acclimate before they start doing any moderate to vigorous activity.

    “Whether it is a working or training environment, we have to practice, rehearse and make sure that we are taking care of the troops, ourselves, and then bring it home to take care of our children and families,” Arizmendi said.

    According to Arizmendi, they monitor the heat condition and inform the Fort Bragg Operation Center and WAMC of the heat category, who in return disseminate this information throughout their departments and installation. With increased temperatures, the risk to Soldiers remains high when they are outdoors. However, there are tools per Army Regulations like the WBGT, which they can use to monitor the temperature to lower the risks of heat injuries and apply the work, rest and water consumption requirements for each category. They can also dial 907 - HEAT (4328) for the current Fort Bragg Heat Index Category.

    Heat injuries can be prevented by taking precautions.

    The measurements from the WBGT can assist soldiers in making the needed adjustments for safety. Soldiers need to add five degrees Fahrenheit or up to ten degrees Fahrenheit if they are doing a ruck march while wearing a rucksack and body armor, because wearing full gear and sun exposure can lead to dehydration.

    Other things they can consider are lightening the load, modifying clothing to increase air circulation, and try performing high intensity activities when the temperatures are cooler; early in the morning, or late in the afternoon. Be mindful of one’s fitness level, nutrition, underlying minor illnesses, prescriptions, supplements, hours of sleep, alcohol abuse days before and prior heat illness.

    Drink plenty of water and avoid caffeine and alcoholic drinks which are not healthy substitutes, because of their dehydrating effect. Drinking a lot of water is necessary to prevent hydration however consuming lots of water doesn’t mean that you are well hydrated. Individuals should consume one quart per hour under most training conditions and one quart per hour with a maximum of 1 ½ quart per hour under very strenuous conditions.

    Heat injuries are preventable and the risks can be lessened by utilizing the suggested tools for heat monitoring and implementing the necessary recommendations.

    For more information regarding heat safety and what to look for if a heat-related illness is suspected visit



    Date Taken: 06.13.2022
    Date Posted: 07.11.2022 13:37
    Story ID: 424456
    Location: FORT BRAGG, NC, US

    Web Views: 333
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