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    Pivotal multinational medical training concludes at Fort Cavazos

    Pivotal multinational medical training concludes at Fort Cavazos

    Photo By Capt. Maria Salcido | Soldiers from the 502nd Medical Company Dental Area Support on Fort Cavazos, Texas,...... read more read more



    Story by Capt. Maria Salcido 

    343rd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

    FORT CAVAZOS, Texas—Joint service medical experts trained U.S. military personnel and multinational forces at the Medical Simulation Training Center (MSTC) here 5 to 9 June 2023 as part of a dynamic learning experience.

    Joint Emergency Medicine Exercise 2023 (JEMX-23) is a training event, fostering partnership in medical excellence where trainees receive professional classroom instruction along with practical scenario-based training in areas of special emphasis.

    “Train like hell every opportunity you get. Learn everything you can,” said Dr. Dan Brillhart, the JEMX-23 medical director, “because when you’re on your knees in the dirt taking care of your friends, you’re gonna survive that day, but then you’re gonna have to survive every day after it. It’s a hard thing to do, and it’s a lot harder to do if you’ve got regrets.”

    Senior medical professionals provided mentorship and poignant advice to trainees as they experienced five days of dynamic classroom and practical learning events.

    To kick-off the exercise, trainees from across the Department of Defense and the world arrived for JEMX-23, received their safety briefings, and spent a day in classroom facilitated didactic instruction on TCCC, prolonged casualty care and chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear medical care.

    “This year we expect at least 2,200 people,” said Lt. Col. Jody Shipley, the battalion commander of Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center’s Troop Command. “We have people from the Pacific all the way to Saudi Arabia who have come here to teach.”

    Shipley is a trauma nurse with 21 years of service. He also said the exercise brought together diverse personnel from United Arab Emirates, Lithuania and the Netherlands for medical training and joint interoperability.

    After classroom training concluded, the remainder of the exercise was hands-on, taking place in scenario-based simulated cities, which are known as “training lanes.”

    Maj. Alivia Stehlik was the officer in charge (OIC) of the Key Leader Engagement (KLE) lane, where medical trainees practiced reacting to the political and cultural obstacles that can arise while attempting to perform medical services in foreign countries.

    “What do you do if you’re treating a patient and a local warlord comes in?” Stehlik asked. “It’s getting your brain to work around, ‘What do we do if?’”

    The KLE training is not physically demanding. The point is to put stress on the trainees’ brains with multiple emotional obstacles, so that they learn ways to work through multiple stressors to make the best possible decisions.

    “It’s decision-making. It’s relationship building. It’s trying to make the best of bad options,” said Stehlik. “It’s trying to do all of that in the context of ‘I can’t fail at building the relationship.’ It’s very much a mental gymnastics exercise. It’s built in a medical framework because it’s a medical exercise.”

    Although the KLE training was the only lane to focus solely on mental resilience, mental health was taken seriously across the entire exercise.

    Spc. Michael Christmas, a behavioral health technician with the 85th Combat Stress Control, 1st Medical Brigade, circulated to every training lane to assess the trainees’ wellbeing.

    He’s passionate about helping soldiers with stress relief techniques and helping them cope with situations related to tactical medical training that they’re getting exposed to and getting used to seeing and doing for the first time.

    “When you hurt yourself physically on the battlefield, you treat that immediately,” said Christmas. “We should take that same urgency with our mental health.”

    He explained that some soldiers experience burnout without realizing it, so mental health resiliency training and stress control techniques are important tools he can provide for them during intense training events like JEMX-23.

    “I want to say how important mental health is—how important it is to take care of that, and to pay attention to those signs of burnout when we’re stressed,” he said.

    In contrast to the mental health aspect of the training, the Rapid Assessment Initial Detection (RAID) lane was one of the most physically demanding scenarios.

    Col. Cord Cunningham, JEMX-23 RAID lane OIC, said his scenario was more complex than previous years’ training. Participants included five law enforcement groups, a senior air medical physician assistant from 4th Battalion, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, a residency program director from Fort Moore, Georgia, a senior medic from 2nd Battalion, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, and a nurse practitioner with expertise in enroute critical care.

    The training was set in a fictitious host nation where extremist groups threatened a legitimate democratic government. The medical trainees’ mission was to support a RAID team. Local law enforcement playing the part of the “RAID team” included the 89th Military Police and the Killeen Fire Department SWAT Team.

    The medical trainees role-played immediate response during active shooter scenarios, initial stabilizing treatment and evacuation care via MEDEVAC aircraft. They linked up with a Dutch team to move casualties to a Dutch hospital.

    The Dutch have a permanent presence on Fort Cavazos, but the team at JEMX-23 traveled from The Netherlands and aligned with a security forces assistance battalion out of Fort Carson, Colorado. The exercise was their opportunity to jointly prep for a deployment.

    Cunningham shared his experience working with foreign personnel, explaining the exercise provided rare opportunities for them to experience scenarios with high realism.

    “I’ve worked with a multitude of host-nation forces,” said Cunningham. “In many instances, it’s vital to our mission success to understand how they operate and be able to integrate.”



    Date Taken: 06.09.2023
    Date Posted: 06.09.2023 08:48
    Story ID: 446586
    Location: FORT CAVAZOS, TX, US

    Web Views: 200
    Downloads: 0