AUGUST 24, 2016, FORT MCCOY, Wisconsin – Reserve Marines and Sailors from 4th Medical Battalion, 4th Marine Logistics Group, Marine Forces Reserve, participated in Exercise Global Medic for their 2016 annual training at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, Aug. 13- 23.
The training was designed to put roughly 100 Marines and Navy medical staff of all different military occupational specialties in scenarios that mirrored what they might see in a combat zone. The different MOS’s included motor transportation and communication Marines, as well as various Navy medical staff to include hospital corpsman, doctors, nurses and surgeons.
With the support of the Army and Fort McCoy personnel, participants were able to develop further skills and utilize equipment that afforded hands-on training.
“This is the first time the Marine Corps and Navy have participated in Global Medic,” said Navy Capt. Michael L. Reineke, commanding officer of the event. “Fort McCoy has provided us with great assets and it’s a great opportunity to partake in some outstanding medical training that we don’t always get at some of the other exercises.”
The bulk of equipment the service members trained on was geared towards medical treatment and casualty evacuation. Simulated casualties with imitation wounds such as shrapnel lodged in the chest and lacerations to the face, tested Navy medical staff on their abilities to provide proper medical attention in a high stress environment where the Marines were needed to provide security.
“We get causalities that are flown into us, driven into us, and Marines have to make sure that none of these causalities are bringing in any type of weapons,” said Sgt. Charles P. Retter, Inspector-Instructor motor transport maintenance chief with 4th Med. Bn. “They are then brought into the surgical tents and the Navy medical staff does what they can to stabilize the patient and move them up to a higher echelon of health care.”
Communication Marines played a large role in supporting the movement of casualties. They set up the communication lines upon arrival to the assembly area, manned the radios and ensured that electricity generators were constantly maintained. These tasks were essential to the success of the mission.
Aside from transporting casualties, the motor transportation Marines were afforded the opportunity to embark on virtual Humvee convoys and foot patrols with equipment provided by Fort McCoy. This was beneficial to the Marines as it placed them on a simulated mission where they needed to use their training to think quickly on their feet and reach the rally point at the end.
“It’s very important to get the motor transportation operators in these convoy simulated trailers so they have firsthand experience on a combat convoy without the risk of harm,” Retter said. “They immersed themselves in a 3-D training space and it allowed their minds to get used to convoy operations and radio communication, which in turn makes a more productive 4th Medical Battalion.”
For junior Marines and Sailors, the training was an opportunity for them to acquire new skills and techniques that will help them become more proficient in their MOS. It also gave them the chance to assume a leadership role and pass their knowledge on to others.
“This is my first annual training and I didn’t really know what to expect going in to it, but I have to say it’s been a really good experience,” said Lance Cpl. Lucas J. Broling, field radio operator with 4th Med. Bn. “I’ve gotten to do a lot of work with our radios and had the opportunity to teach others trouble shooting skills, as well as learn a lot from those above and below me in my chain of command.”
With this being the first year participating in the exercise, service members wanted to be sure they left a lasting footprint and performed to the best of their ability. The leaders of the training were very pleased with the hard work that was put in, as well as with the skills that were developed.
“We’ve been out here for several days now and our teams have been tested with late night casualties and early morning attacks on the assembly area,” Reineke said. “The Marines and Sailors have been very impressive with what they have been doing here and I think that we have performed very well.”
The simulated training the service members received will ensure that when positioned in a combat situation, they will have all the necessary skills and knowledge to successfully accomplish the mission.