New medical unit receives patches prior to lane training exercises

| February 20, 2010 | 0 Comments

Sgt. 1st Class Rodney Jackson
18th Medical Command (Deployment Support) Public Affairs

BELLOWS — Midway through a tough lane training exercise, Soldiers from the 18th Medical Command (Deployment Support) paused briefly to officially welcome and assign a new optometry team, here, at Marine Corps Training Area, Feb. 3-6.

Soldiers from the 124th Optometry Team, 18th MEDCOM (DS), received their unit patches before returning to lane training exercises designed to provide realistic situations focused on combat-survival skills.

The optometry team is one of three units to be assigned to 18th MEDCOM (DS).

Soldiers from 18th Medical Command (Deployment Support) move “casualties” out of a village overrun by insurgents during lane training exercises at Marine Corps Training Area, Bellows, Feb. 3-6. (Courtesy Photo)“This is a great day and a great place to be,” said Col. Erin P. Edgar, commander, 18th MEDCOM (DS). “It’s great scenery out here.

“We are going to continue our training out here, and as we welcome our first supporting unit,” Edgar continued, “I think this is a great opportunity and a very fitting venue to do this patch ceremony.

“This is another milestone for us and one more step as we grow into the unit that we are going to become,” said Edgar of the theater-enabling command, which handles all medical responsibilities for U.S. Army-Pacific, or USARPAC. 

As part of their training, Soldiers encountered realistic explosive devices, insurgent ambushes and suicide bombers, all of which ended with a casualty evacuation scenario.

“By going through this type of training, the command recognized many different skill levels in our organization, and that a culminating event like this is a huge learning experience,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Timothy R. Shelton, 18th MEDCOM (DS). “Some of the training was completely new to some Soldiers, and the command learned exactly what it should support them on.”

Maj. John Yoshimori, preventive medicine officer, said the training exercises brought greater awareness to Soldiers in the unit who have not deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan.

“The bewildered look on some of the Soldiers’ faces when the simulated artillery and small arms fire was going on — while at the same time having to perform medical treatment to a casualty or being ambushed — can happen when deployed,” Yoshimori said.

“If the Soldier doesn’t have composure and discipline through this type of muscle-memory training, it will be a bad day,” Yoshimori explained.

“Getting the Soldiers out to do the basic Army warrior tasks was important,” added Master Sgt. Roberto Rosales, G3 plans noncommissioned officer. “The training went very well, and we all got out there and returned safely during the convoys.” 



Category: Exercises, News

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