News: Guard unit trains on convoy attacks, medical evacuation
MILBANK, S.D. - The South Dakota Army National Guard’s 740th Transportation Company, of Milbank and Aberdeen, went through a circuit of training designed to respond to convoy attacks and medical evacuation procedures, Aug. 4.
The primary focus of the training was to call in a medical evacuation, properly secure a casualty on a litter, and safely approach a medical evacuation helicopter to load the casualties. They also practiced loading casualties into a ground ambulance.
“I wanted to have some challenging, real-world training,” said Capt. Jeremy Schafer, 740th commander. “Having several events lined up that built on each other.”
740th soldiers also conducted convoy lanes training.
“It was the most amazing training experience I have ever had in my 12 years in the National Guard,” said Sgt. Tynna Phillips, heavy vehicle driver. “We don’t receive this type of hands-on training very often, which was a great opportunity for all the Soldiers so we will be prepared if this event would happen.”
Some 740th soldiers acted as the enemy, while others drove their M915 tractors through the convoy lanes training. Different scenarios were made on gravel roads such as small arms fire, removing road blocks and improvised explosive devices.
“Lanes training is a good test of our driving skills, shooting skills and alertness of the surrounding area,” said Spc. Steve Spors, heavy vehicle driver. “It gives us realistic training to prepare for a possible deployment.”
The soldiers trained on the proper ways to handle each scenario and what to be alert for when traveling through hostile areas.
“You can walk through the motions of calling in a MEDEVAC [medical evacuation], but you can’t replace the hands-on training of calling in the MEDEVAC and physically loading casualties on the helicopter,” said Schafer. “You top that off with lanes and medical training and it made for a great training day.”
The 740th partnered with members of the SDARNG’s 1st Battalion, 189th Aviation Regiment, of Rapid City, and 730th Area Support Medical Company, of Vermillion, to complete the training.
“None of this could’ve been done without additional support from outside resources,” said Schafer. “All and all, it was a great team-building and morale-boosting event.”