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Home News Active-duty, Guard medical teams building groundwork for PATRIOT North 2016

Active-duty, Guard medical teams building groundwork for PATRIOT North 2016

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VOLK FIELD AIR GUARD STATION, Wis. — An active-duty Air Force cadre from the 59th Training Support Squadron, Joint Base San Antonio, Texas, have been preparing Guardsmen for exercise PATRIOT North 2016. 

The 59th TSS medical readiness training instructors (MRTS) coached 15 separate military units in Expeditionary Medical Support (EMEDS) and En Route Patient Staging System (ERPSS) for both real-world application and exercise PATRIOT North 2016. 

“We’re here to train up the National Guard for natural disaster emergency situations,” said Air Force Capt. Nicholas Carroll, a 59th TSS EMEDS instructor. “A lot of the Guardsmen haven’t had the opportunity to work in this type of environment; so, they don’t know how the operating room, emergency room or command and control works in the field environment.” 

Carroll said his teams are working to ensure that the Guardsmen are fully prepared when the exercise kicks off. He added that the role of the military during medical domestic operations, both real and notional, is to provide additional medical support for the state if needed. Many times, this support is in the form of erecting temporary hospitals and staging facilities, in addition to performing as medical care providers. 

The scenarios used during the training parallel those that medical providers face during real-world disasters: broken bones, blunt-force-injuries and illness resulting from inaccessibility to prescription medication.  

Carroll stated that the Guardsmen not only served as receptive students, but also as an impressive team. “These Guardsmen are coming from different units and the cohesiveness and teamwork they’ve displayed has been impressive. They’ve shown a lot of flexibility, which can be seen during the scenarios thrown at them – flexibility is critical.” 

While the medical training is the chief objective, a valuable side effect is the resulting total force integration and networking opportunity. 

Air Force Senior Airman Cordero Santiago, a dietetic therapist with the 113th Wing of the D.C. Air National Guard, said that he feels there is no palpable distinction between active-duty and National Guard Airmen. 

“It felt like we were equals,” he said. “It was nice because I feel that sometimes [Guardsmen] can be treated like civilian counterparts by active-duty instead of equal military counterparts. That wasn’t the case here.” 

Santiago also stated that the training he and his fellow Guard members received was unparalleled, making the difference between success and failure both in the exercise and the real world. 

“The [59th MRTS] are bringing in a lot of experience that we don’t get to see on the daily basis, but they do,” Santiago said. “This training is what is going to help us maintain a level head and clear mind during the actual exercise – the knowledge of first-hand experience versus a textbook. Also, it’s setting us up for those deployed situations where we are expected to meet and perform to the active-duty standard; it’s helping us meet that level.” 

Disclaimer: Re-published content may have been edited for length and clarity. Read original post.

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