-- CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa, Japan – A dark-green, tactical vehicle with a large red cross on its side screeches to a halt in front of Medical Simulation Training Center South on Camp Foster, Okinawa, Japan. Sailors run to the Humvee, yelling for assistance from medical personnel, who rush to pull simulated casualties out of the vehicle. The patients are quickly transported into large, green operating tents to receive treatment.
Sailors with 3rd Medical Battalion, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, worked with Sailors from Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Naval Health Clinic Hawaii, Naval Hospital Bremerton and Naval Medical Center San Diego during the Naval Medical Augmentation Program pre-deployment training August 25, 2018.
During the training, medical personnel reviewed naval policy and practiced lifesaving skills in courses such as Tactical Combat Casualty Care and Forward Resuscitative Casualty Care.
Navy Lt. Brittany Hout, officer-in-charge of 3rd Medical Bn., said that part of the battalion’s capabilities rely on its ability to work with military healthcare providers from other units outside of 3rd MLG.
“Having providers that are trained and ready to work with us increases our ability to fight tonight by 100 percent,” Hout said.
In addition to lifesaving skills classes, medical personnel set up Role II medical facilities as part of the training. Role II medical facilities provide a tactical location for military medical professionals to diagnose and treat injured service members with ultrasound, X-ray and surgical equipment. The medical teams then moved the simulated patients from the tactical vehicle into the Role II tents where they were able to quickly assess the injuries and provide care.
According to Hout, 3rd Medical Bn. provides the Role II capability for III Marine Expeditionary Force, which it is important because it offers a wide range of medical treatments.
“Role II is significant because it offers damage control and resuscitative surgery,” said Hout. “Unlike your BAS (battalion aid station), where it’s your first step in care, Role II can stabilize these patients, improving their outcomes before they can be shipped off or airlifted to a Role III facility,” said Hout.
Hout said communication and teamwork were essential throughout the course because it was the first time the providers had worked with the augmented personnel. After only a week training together, all of the medical personnel were able to work seamlessly and provide the Role II capability.
Hout said she was very impressed by the performance of the augmented personnel and hopes for successful operations in the future.
“...This training [...] proves that Navy medicine and our providers are adaptable,” said Hout. “They are willing to learn, willing to communicate and willing to do what it takes to fight tonight.”