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    U.S. Army Surgeon General observes medical experimentation at Project Convergence Capstone 4

    U.S. Army Surgeon General visits Project Convergence Capstone 4

    Photo By Spc. Hunter Grice | U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Mary Izaguirre, the U.S. Army Surgeon General and commanding...... read more read more

    FORT IRWIN, CA, UNITED STATES

    03.18.2024

    Story by Spc. Hunter Grice 

    24th Theater Public Affairs Support Element

    FORT IRWIN, Calif. – Amidst the rugged mountain peaks touching the low clouds of California’s desert, Project Convergence – Capstone 4 ran a dynamic two-day Army medical experiment featuring live-fire casualty medical evacuation demonstrations, integrated artificial intelligence and pioneering drone systems.

    U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Mary K. Izaguirre, the surgeon general of the United States Army and commanding general of the United States Army Medical Command, was joined by senior leaders, civilians, and government officials to witness the groundbreaking advancements taking place during PC-C4 at the National Training Center March 16-17, 2024.

    PC-C4 is a Joint, Multinational experiment hosted by the U.S. Army at multiple locations on the West Coast in February and March 2024.

    During the medical experimentation, an array of cutting-edge technologies took center stage. These innovations encompassed Role I, providing initial trauma care to incoming patients; Role 2, delivering advanced trauma management and surgical interventions; and Role 3, where emergency and specialty surgery, intensive care, medical specialty care, and extended holding capacity occurred.

    The first day began with a roundtable discussion on the experimental blueprint, which explored observations and examined insights prior to the coming weekend’s medical demonstrations.

    The surgeon general of the United States Army delivered remarks to the audience before taking part in observing the experimentation showcase.

    “What I would ask us all to do is think about how everything you see today will help us to enhance lethality by returning Soldiers to the fight by inspiring confidence that the best medical care in the world is right there with them,” Izaguirre said. “Shoulder to shoulder on the battlefield; if it is possible to get them back – we will make that happen.”

    On the first day of the showcase, groundbreaking medical advancements in casualty transport techniques, medical lanes, and casualty trauma assessments were unveiled.

    Soldiers from the 1st Infantry Division experimented with the Dismounted Litter Transport Assistive Device, a new patient litter system. This wearable technology effectively redistributes weight, alleviating strain on medics and significantly improving casualty transport efficiency. Using the DLTAD, Soldiers lifted and conveyed casualties from the battlefield to a Sikorsky UH-60M Medical Evacuation Black Hawk Helicopter, awaiting them for medical evacuation.

    Upon reaching the medical tent, Soldiers from the 4th Cavalry Regiment experimented with the Human Readiness and Performance System alongside ProPatch to assess the casualty’s health. HRAPS offers actionable insights to prevent non-battle injuries and integrate vital signs into the Battlefield Assisted Trauma Distributed Observation Kit system during tactical combat casualty care, aiding informed decision-making. ProPatch, compatible with BATDOK, ensures effective casualty management through vital signs monitoring, showcasing seamless human-machine integration with automated medical documentation.

    On the second day of the showcase, leaders witnessed an array of state-of-the-art medical technology — including advancements in drones, robotic combat vehicles, and unmanned aerial systems — during a live-fire exercise with Soldiers from the 1st Infantry Division.

    The Soldiers utilized the Orbital Research Drop Glide for precision strikes and the Fortum Skydome with Drone Hunter for target acquisition, which provided effective enemy engagement to threats on the ground. Using Quadrupeds, an uncrewed ground vehicle, the Soldiers remotely surveyed the area, providing invaluable reconnaissance support. Upon locating casualties, the Soldiers relied on the Hunter WOLF, a robotic vehicle, to evacuate them on a litter to safety.

    The Army’s surgeon general reflected on the remarkable strides in medical technology and innovation showcased to her during her visit to PC-C4.

    “We look at not only the training, but also how we are transforming to train for large-scale combat operations,” Izaguirre said. “Whether that’s technology, whether that’s how we communicate, we also do it outside of the combat arena. Where we’re working with our partners in the defense health agency, we transform how we lead the organization to ensure that we can organize and bring the best talent to bear to keep faith with our families and ensure they have access to care.”

    To continue the visit, the Army’s surgeon general embarked on a tour of medical facilities across the base, personally extending greetings, commendations, and awards to the dedicated individuals who form the backbone of Army Medicine.

    “Project Convergence is really a great opportunity to strengthen the profession,” Izaguirre said. “Professions are defined by holding standards and by ensuring that your profession is really bringing what is needed, and that’s exactly what’s happening out here at Project Convergence.”

    The senior leaders, civilians, and government officials convened at the Dr. Mary E. Walker Center, a clinic named after the only female Medal of Honor recipient. To commemorate Women’s History Month, the women involved in the showcase gathered for a group photo in front of the clinic.

    During this stop, Izaguirre reflected on her journey thus far as a female leader in the Army.

    “I think the fact that I have the opportunity to serve in this position really highlights the fact that the Army has opportunities for all comers,” said Izaguirre. “We’re in an Army these days where people can be either male or female, different races, different ethnicities, different religions, and we can all bring our talents to bear for the benefit of our Soldiers.”

    Izaguirre proceeded to the Weed Army Community Hospital to recognize and award coins to nominated individuals who have made remarkable contributions to their medical community while positively impacting those around them.

    “Our medics, our nurses, our doctors, our operators, they are all bringing their experience and expertise and looking forward to seeing how we have to transform our profession to make sure we’re best supporting the Army,” Izaguirre said. “This, to me, is really the essence of strengthening our profession, and then, we bring it back to the home station to teach and ensure we’re bringing the whole formation along with us.”

    To celebrate the two-day medical showcase’s success, Izaguirre hosted a ceremonial cake-cutting event at the Coyote Cafe, followed by an award presentation and closing remarks at the Rotational Unit Bivouac Area. During this gathering, she reflected on the innovation and talent showcased.

    “I am most proud of the talent, from the private who showed me how we track our patients to ensure that we know their whereabouts, to the colonel who oversees the entire project,” Izaguirre said while looking at each medical professional who stood before her. “You could see the talent and the commitment and that striving to ensure we’re bringing the best to bear on behalf of Soldiers at every element.”

    PC-C4 will persist as a pivotal platform for exploring cutting-edge concepts in the medical sphere, spanning multiple echelons, and fostering collaboration with Joint components and Multinational allies and partners, thereby ensuring the readiness for the Army of 2030.

    “Their desire and willingness to test the systems to give honest feedback on what worked and what didn’t, to allow us to continue pushing ourselves to the next level; that’s what I’m most proud about,” Izaguirre said. “That way, I know that we can look our Soldiers and their families in the eye and say we are bringing the best care in the world to you shoulder to shoulder on the battlefield.”

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 03.18.2024
    Date Posted: 03.18.2024 21:34
    Story ID: 466491
    Location: FORT IRWIN, CA, US

    Web Views: 629
    Downloads: 4

    PUBLIC DOMAIN