CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- Medical personnel with 2nd Medical Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, conducted a medical field exercise June 22-25, 2015, aboard Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, to maintain readiness and prepare for future deployments.
Training throughout the week included a variety of casualty scenarios, as well as practicing loading patients onto helicopters for medical evacuations.
“This exercise is two-fold,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Brennon Brown, a corpsman with 2nd Medical Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group. “One part is to train our personnel internally for future operations, because there are a lot of individuals from our battalion who deploy individually, so we need to be ready at any time, and then the other half is to train [augmented personnel] who already come together as a group so they can get the time to practice as a team before they have to do this for real.”
Each of the scenarios are made to be as realistic as possible, to show the corpsmen and doctors what they will encounter when deployed.
"One of the scenarios we tried to simulate a Humvee roll-over, with [injury make-up on the] patients and basically from beginning to end, run through a real scenario on a real forward operating base,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Austin Kelly, a corpsman with the battalion "Basically they're getting the patients right off of a Humvee and getting them to patient tracking, to treatment, to the operating room, to higher levels of medical care."
This training ensures that personnel can perform in stressful situations while overseas because trauma is something that many of the corpsmen do not encounter on a daily basis.
Teamwork is going to be the biggest thing that everyone learns in the training, according to Lt. Cmdr. Brendan Byrne, an emergency physician with Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, currently augmented to 2nd Med.
“We all have our individual jobs and training, and when you place people in an austere environment with limited resources and capabilities, initially it’s an environment where they’re not familiar,” said Byrne. “It requires a fair bit of drilling in order to benefit unit cohesion and optimal job performance.”
Augmented health services personnel with 2nd Med. are preparing for an upcoming deployment in support of Special Marine Air Ground Task Force Crisis Response Africa.
“Management of a trauma team is always a unit cohesion issue,” said Byrne. “It depends on how well that unit works together. This team has come together within the last 24 hours, so we’ve got a lot of building to do, but we’ve also got a great group of people who are going to do very well and work well together.”
Overall, the training went well, and the sailors are more prepared for future operations.
“The group that I supervised during training did fantastic,” said Brown. “They had just met each other approximately four minutes before the scenario started. They had four minutes to talk through what their roles and responsibilities would be and they jumped into every role that they would be comfortable with immediately. So they did a fantastic job, and barring training limitations, if they would have handled a real patient like that – it would be superb. They covered stuff that we didn’t even expect them to cover.”