Train as you fight, medical training at its best

Army Reserve Medical Command
Story by Staff Sgt. Eric W. Jones

Date: 02.23.2014
Posted: 02.28.2014 23:22
News ID: 121361
Train as you fight, medical training at its best

CAMP BLANDING, Fla. - Soldiers of the 5010th U.S. Army Hospital hosted Brig. Gen. Mary E. Link, the deputy commanding general of the Army Reserve Medical Command here during their field exercise Feb. 21, 2014.

“This is required training,” said Link. “We have this great location; we have everybody out here … its team building.”

The 5010th USAH is a battalion-echelon unit based at Fort Gordon, Ga., with Medical Support Units elements located throughout Florida with the 7201st MSU located in Gainesville, the 7217th MSU in Perrine, the 7222nd MSU in Tampa and the 7235th MSU out of Orlando.

Link said she was impressed by the hard work and planning that made the exercise a success.

Colonel Murray Kramer, the 5010th USAH commander said he was proud of the good showing his Soldiers made for the general and through the exercise.

Kramer said, “We brought the four MSU’s here that fall under the battalion for many reasons when we go to war we go to war together, and a lot of the staffs have never met.”

Range safety officer Sgt. Miguel Larrea, 7201st MSU, and the 2013 Soldier of the Year, said the main focus of the training for the long weekend was weapons qualification and learn tactics to counter improvised explosive devices.

The 4-day training exercise from 20 – 23 Feb. 2014 consisted of classroom instruction with hands-on training, qualification ranges, and field training which started on Day 2 of the exercise.

After the counter IED training, the Soldiers went to the weapons ranges, said Larrea a Slidell, La., native. There were two ranges running through the weekend with both the M-9, pistol and the M-16 rifle, which satisfied the annual weapons qualification for Army Reserve Soldiers.

“It’s good training, logistically this is looking awesome we are getting a lot of the Soldiers through and a lot are qualifying,” Larrea said.

Some that are having trouble qualifying we take them to the side and do a little preliminary marksmanship instruction, then get them back out there to make sure we get them qualified before leaving, the range safety officer said.

Colonel Michael Rowley, the 7201st MSU commander, said his unit was responsible for the M-16 range.

“We have ran the range in the past and have subject matter experts within our unit to get people qualified and to teach basic rifle marksmanship and help Soldiers get qualified, said Rowley, who in his civilian career is a family medicine physician in Ocala, Fla.

Major Robert Kirk, assigned to the 7235th MSU, said his unit ran the counter IED range, which was operated simultaneously on another range, so that the Soldiers experienced both classrooms and live scenarios with role player enemy personnel.

The Soldiers walked through several scenarios in a mock village testing their knowledge and training, he said.

“The goal behind our training was the recognition of the IED, how to react to the IED’s, calling in an UXO report,” said Kirk, a physician’s assistant from Orlando Fla.

In one of the scenarios, in addition to dealing with unexploded ordinance, the Soldiers went in to engaging the local population trying to determine whether there are friendly forces in the area or potential terrorist threats and how to respond to those threats, he said.

“I definitely think we got as much out of the training as can be done in a simulated environment,” Kirk said.

“Soldiers don’t like to sit in the Reserve Centers,” said Kramer. “’Soldiers like to train.”

Kramer also explained what Soldiers like to see while engaging in field training and ranges.

“The troops like to see the leadership out here,” said Kramer. “Not just in the office they want to see us down in the field training with them … so this training has been good.”

It is all about ‘Train as you Fight’, he said, adding that the exercise is designed to prepare the battalion for their Extended Combat Training later in the year.

“Our ECT is coming up in June, the entire battalion will be going to that exercise,” he said.

“The MSU staffs know the battalion staff by phone but have never met them,’ said Kramer.

“Here, you have NCO’s talking to NCO’s so they are networking, you have commanders talking to commanders, and so we have been able to plan for additional missions.”