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    USAMMDA team wraps up 2023 Army Best Squad Competition support – Health Readiness and Performance System tested throughout event

    2023 Best Squad Competition teams hit the trail at Camp Oliver – USAMMDA health, performance monitoring system put to test during land navigation exercise

    Photo By T. T. Parish | U.S. Army Spc. Andrew Groft, a cavalry scout with 4th Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment...... read more read more

    FORT STEWART, GA, UNITED STATES

    10.04.2023

    Story by T. T. Parish 

    U.S. Army Medical Materiel Development Activity (USAMMDA)

    A development team with the U.S. Army Medical Materiel Development Activity (USAMMDA) completed its support of the second annual U.S. Army Best Squad Competition today, providing real-time physiological data to competition organizers and health care professionals using the Health Readiness and Performance System (HRAPS).

    Each competitor wore the HRAPS device through the first phase of the competition, which features 12 squads from across the Army, each vying for the title “Best Squad.” The combat-related events tested each competitor’s fitness and knowledge of Warfighter tasks and squad battle drills across Fort Stewart’s 200,000-plus acres. It was a perfect opportunity to assess the HRAPS program’s progress and applicability in real-world conditions, according to Emily Krohn, assistant product manager for USAMMDA’s HRAPS program.

    “The HRAPS is a fantastic tool to help tactical commanders and frontline health care providers make critical decisions about Warfighters’ health and performance during both training and real-world operations,” said Krohn. “It is designed to help small-unit leaders and frontline medics identify possible health concerns before they become critical. It gives a snapshot of critical health and performance data about once a minute, so leaders can know their Soldiers’ location and vital signs whenever the device is transmitting data.”

    The Army-wide Best Squad Competition is the culmination of a series of command-level competitions that have taken place since the beginning of the year. It is designed to test competitors’ tactical skills while demonstrating their commitment to the Army Values and Warrior Ethos. The competition is a challenging and exhausting event that mimics the rigors of combat operations, and it is a perfect showcase for the capabilities HRAPS offers to small-unit leaders during training, said Krohn.

    “Because of the forecasted future nature of combat, it will be imperative to have modern, user-friendly, rugged, and expeditionary tools like HRAPS to help frontline commanders in the Joint Forces make more informed decisions,” said Krohn, who travelled to Fort Stewart from USAMMDA’s home at Fort Detrick, Maryland, to manage the HRAPS assessment. “The reality is that medevac capabilities found during previous operations, like in Iraq and Afghanistan, will be stretched very thin due to the possible operating environments of the future, where small teams will deploy far from higher echelon care facilities in austere, remote locations.

    “It will be a critical advantage to have tools like HRAPS that will help provide advanced warning for health concerns that can point to deeper issues before they become emergencies,” she added. “Having real-time health information for the Warfighters on the front lines will help inform field medical care and maximize the effectiveness of available resources.”

    Competitors in the event were selected from commands across the Army. The Army Futures Command team comprises Soldiers under the banner of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command, experts in frontline medical care and medical technology development. According to Staff Sgt. Jesse Hylton, AFC team senior leader and practical nursing specialist with the Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC) originally from Interlachen, Florida, the HRAPS is form-fitted for events like the Best Squad Competition where competitors are pushed to their limits, a close approximation of a combat environment.

    “The HRAPS is a very useful tool for us out in the field, especially Soldiers in the medical services,” said Hylton, who has served in the Army since 2015. He wore an HRAPS device during both the AFC-level Best Squad competition and throughout the Army-wide event in Georgia. “I was surprised at the capabilities it brings to the table. Having a tool like this as a medical provider, having this type of data in real time, would be extremely beneficial in a real-world environment.”

    While no training or exercise can truly replicate the intensity or mental and physical exhaustion of combat, the Best Squad Competition is nevertheless a comprehensive test of a Soldier’s physical fitness and ability to endure under physical and mental duress. Long days under the Georgia sun, sleep deprivation, and calories burned combine to create clear physiological responses common during intense training and combat. Assessing the real-world applicability of HRAPS during events like the Best Squad Competition will give USAMMDA developers greater insights to improve and refine the development process, according to Hylton. It also points to the greatest value HRAPS gives leaders and medical providers on the front lines: identifying medical issues before they become medical emergencies.

    “During emergency situations while treating injuries and casualties, every minute counts, and having a baseline of physiological data tracked over a period of time would help inform decision making while treating Soldiers in the field,” said Hylton. “We know that the effects of injuries compound over time, so being able to identify vital sign anomalies before they present in a patient is important to helping prevent possible complications with the onset of symptoms. If abnormalities do appear, we will be able to treat them early in the continuum, which would help mitigate injuries before they begin to escalate, and help providers apply a more holistic approach to casualty treatment, leading to better overall outcomes.”


    Each competitor wore the HRAPS device through the first phase of the competition, which features 12 squads from across the Army, each vying for the title “Best Squad.” The combat-related events tested each competitor’s fitness and knowledge of Warfighter tasks and squad battle drills across Fort Stewart’s 200,000-plus acres. It was a perfect opportunity to assess the HRAPS program’s progress and applicability in real-world conditions, according to Emily Krohn, assistant product manager for USAMMDA’s HRAPS program.

    “The HRAPS is a fantastic tool to help tactical commanders and frontline health care providers make critical decisions about Warfighters’ health and performance during both training and real-world operations,” said Krohn. “It is designed to help small-unit leaders and frontline medics identify possible health concerns before they become critical. It gives a snapshot of critical health and performance data about once a minute, so leaders can know their Soldiers’ location and vital signs whenever the device is transmitting data.”

    The Army-wide Best Squad Competition is the culmination of a series of command-level competitions that have taken place since the beginning of the year. It is designed to test competitors’ tactical skills while demonstrating their commitment to the Army Values and Warrior Ethos. The competition is a challenging and exhausting event that mimics the rigors of combat operations, and it is a perfect showcase for the capabilities HRAPS offers to small-unit leaders during training, said Krohn.

    “Because of the forecasted future nature of combat, it will be imperative to have modern, user-friendly, rugged, and expeditionary tools like HRAPS to help frontline commanders in the Joint Forces make more informed decisions,” said Krohn, who travelled to Fort Stewart from USAMMDA’s home at Fort Detrick, Maryland, to manage the HRAPS assessment. “The reality is that medevac capabilities found during previous operations, like in Iraq and Afghanistan, will be stretched very thin due to the possible operating environments of the future, where small teams will deploy far from higher echelon care facilities in austere, remote locations.

    “It will be a critical advantage to have tools like HRAPS that will help provide advanced warning for health concerns that can point to deeper issues before they become emergencies,” she added. “Having real-time health information for the Warfighters on the front lines will help inform field medical care and maximize the effectiveness of available resources.”

    Competitors in the event were selected from commands across the Army. The Army Futures Command team comprises Soldiers under the banner of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command, experts in frontline medical care and medical technology development. According to Staff Sgt. Jesse Hylton, AFC team senior leader and practical nursing specialist with the Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC), the HRAPS is form-fitted for events like the Best Squad Competition where competitors are pushed to their limits, a close approximation of a combat environment.

    “The HRAPS is a very useful tool for us out in the field, especially Soldiers in the medical services,” said Hylton, who has served in the Army since 2015. He wore an HRAPS device during both the AFC-level Best Squad competition and throughout the Army-wide event in Georgia. “I was surprised at the capabilities it brings to the table. Having a tool like this as a medical provider, having this type of data in real time, would be extremely beneficial in a real-world environment.”

    While no training or exercise can truly replicate the intensity or mental and physical exhaustion of combat, the Best Squad Competition is nevertheless a comprehensive test of a Soldier’s physical fitness and ability to endure under physical and mental duress. Long days under the Georgia sun, sleep deprivation, and calories burned combine to create clear physiological responses common during intense training and combat. Assessing the real-world applicability of HRAPS during events like the Best Squad Competition will give USAMMDA developers greater insights to improve and refine the development process, according to Hylton. It also points to the greatest value HRAPS gives leaders and medical providers on the front lines: identifying medical issues before they become medical emergencies.

    “During emergency situations while treating injuries and casualties, every minute counts, and having a baseline of physiological data tracked over a period of time would help inform decision making while treating Soldiers in the field,” said Hylton. “We know that the effects of injuries compound over time, so being able to identify vital sign anomalies before they present in a patient is important to helping prevent possible complications with the onset of symptoms. If abnormalities do appear, we will be able to treat them early in the continuum, which would help mitigate injuries before they begin to escalate, and help providers apply a more holistic approach to casualty treatment, leading to better overall outcomes.”

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 10.04.2023
    Date Posted: 10.04.2023 17:39
    Story ID: 455203
    Location: FORT STEWART, GA, US
    Hometown: INTERLACHEN, FL, US

    Web Views: 223
    Downloads: 0

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