soldiers build field hospital during training at Fort McCoy | New

Imagine building a hospital from scratch. When you get to the grid coordinates provided, you find an open field surrounded by thick undergrowth and tall evergreens. When you start working, your boots get covered in mud from the morning downpour and sweat soaks your shirt in the scorching afternoon sun. The air is sticky and mosquitoes thrive.

Your mission is to create a fully functional hospital with the ability to quickly assess casualties and perform advanced medical procedures in an austere environment.

This described action was part of the training for the 78th Training Division (CSTX) Combat Support Training Exercise 78-21-04 and Exercise Global Medic 2021 at Fort McCoy in August 2021.

Colonel Michael Magner, commander of the 410th hospital center, said setting up a field hospital from scratch is not a new skill, but one less practiced in the last 20 years of the Iraq war. and in Afghanistan.

“(The) combat support training exercise is really about bringing our own equipment into the field, taking it out, setting it up, making sure it works, making sure we’re trained. to use and install it correctly, and go through a lot of realistic scenarios, ”said Magner.

Previously, US Army Reserve soldiers were deployed overseas to bases already equipped with the comforts of solid infrastructure. This CSTX rotation prepared soldiers for future combat operations, with the expectation that soldiers would become more self-sufficient.

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The 78th Training Division designed this CSTX and Global Medic to encompass realistic training scenarios to prepare soldiers for the potential of peer-to-peer combat in a multi-domain environment. The exercise was spread over various enhanced tactical training bases at Fort McCoy from August 7-21.

“We don’t have engineers coming to build our hospital,” Magner said. “It’s all our doctors, or nurses, or physiotherapists, or doctors… out there pounding the stakes (for the tents).”

The field hospital construction team was divided into three sections: the picket team, the water power team and the tent team.

Major Lucas Marcum, an intensive care nurse with the 348th Field Hospital and a member of the staking team, said the field hospital is designed to accommodate 94 hospital beds and consists of two intensive care units , three intensive care units, two minimum care secondment units, computed tomography, radiography, pharmacy, blood laboratory, two operating theaters, sterile central processing and patient registration.

Many army reserve units came together to collectively train and make the field hospital possible, including the 311th medical (surgical) detachment, the 901st medical detachment, the 348th field hospital, the 378th field hospital , the 410th hospital center, the 624th advanced surgical team, the 1st advanced surgical team and the 336th Air Force Training Squadron.

Sgt. Serene Fanfair, patient administration specialist at the 348th Field Hospital, said she was very proud of the collaboration between her team and the other sections of the exercise.

“This is the first time that we have worked together as a hospital. So all of these different units coming together from different places and working together is really an exciting thing, ”Fanfair said.

Fanfair said it was not her first time attending CSTX and that one of the improvements she had noticed was the new medical tents.

“They are easier to set up,” Fanfair said. “A few soldiers have been shown how to pitch (the tents) and they will teach the others. “

Fanfair said some of the highlights of the new tents included built-in floors, air conditioning and lights that are easier to hang than previous sets.

CPS. Tiffanie Mondina, a surgical technician at the 378th Field Hospital, said CSTX was his first annual training since joining the Army Reserve.

“I was very excited to learn how to set up these (tents),” Mondina said. “Now, since I’ve done this, I’m excited to hear what my job is… if and when we actually deploy. “

The skills learned during CSTX and Global Medic prepare soldiers to be able to mobilize quickly and employ the abilities necessary to win future combat.

“It was fun. You learn each other’s strengths. You learn challenges you have to work on when you come back and how to help other combat friends,” Mondina said. “I’m really proud of my team. … and I feel very confident in ourselves if anything were to happen. “

During CSTX and Global Medic, exercise participants also built a field hospital near the Fort McCoy Regional Training Site (RTS) -medical facility on the stationed cantonment area. RTS-Medical is one of three regional medical training sites available to Army Reserve units.

It specializes in training military personnel to set up hospitals from the bare ground and to operate them in a deployed or austere environment. The organization has been a tenant activity and training partner in Fort McCoy since 1991.


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