Feature Stories

NEWS | Aug. 1, 2017

Global Medic 2017 CSTX successfully wraps up with joint partners

By Maj. Satomi Mack-Martin 3rd Medical Command Deployment Support

A black hawk helicopter chops in a hurry, scattering the dust as it lands. Medics scurry up to it with litters, ready to off load patients.

Like a scene from M.A.S.H., the 345th Combat Support Hospital operates in the middle of an open field surrounded by mountains and hills on a hot summer day at Fort Hunter Liggett, Calif.

The 345th CSH, a unit within the 332nd Medical Brigade, 3rd Medical Command (Deployment Support), and other subordinate units in the 3d MCDS participated in the Global Medic 2017 Combat Support Training Exercise (CSTX) to provide premier health service support to the combined joint task force.

The exercise included Reserve service members from the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines, along with military medical professionals from the Canadian Army, British Army and Royal Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Land Force.

For three weeks Global Medic took place at various locations from Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., to Fort Devens, Mass., Fort Hunter Liggett in Calif., along with Camp Roberts and Camp Parks, Calif., and operated as a situational scenario-based simulation exercise focused on the development of joint medical and tactical skills.

Col. Noel Christian Pace, Commander for the 345th CSH stated, "Nothing at drill or home station training replicates the scale of this deployment of people, equipment, and vehicles over thousands of miles to a new and harsh climate."

Pace also stated that the training "enables the drawing and building of a 44-bed surgical hospital by ourselves." He went on to add that they saw over 300 critically ill patients evacuated in by air and ground and performed over 100 simulated, but life-like surgeries.

Often operating in austere environments, subordinate units within the 3d MCDS to include the 332nd Med. Bde., and 804th Medical Brigade, conducted medical operations within the combined joint operating area. Medical procedures were simulated on manikins to enhance realistic training in covering multiple treatment scenarios.

3d MCDS and Navy Reserve service members operated at joint command and operational level command posts. They worked side by side as the Joint Task Force Medical (JTF-MED) staff at Shaw AFB, S.C., and assumed the responsibility of providing command and control for the combined joint forces at Fort Hunter Liggett, Camp Roberts and Camp Parks, Calif., and Fort Devens, Mass.

"I enjoyed working on the CPOF (command post of the future) system and analyzing intelligence data in order to predict enemy tactics," said 3d MCDS Sgt. Amanda Moncrief, a Soldier who took part in the exercise.

Moncrief stated she learned more about real-world scenarios by working at the joint level while at Shaw AFB. "I loved the team comradery between the day and night shift," she said.

Col. Jonathan Greifer, senior medical consultant for the 3d MCDS, and JTF-MED surgeon during the exercise, stated "this has been three years of gradually increasing our responsibilities." He further explained that there has been a progressive culmination of training and more complexities have been added to the exercise on a strategic level.

The Joint Task Force trained to provide services such as ambulatory care, medical evacuation, x-ray, laboratory and dental services, preventive medicine, advanced trauma management, pharmacy, and clinical services.

Maj. Maria Espiritu, a medical logistics officer with the 3d MCDS, stated "The exercise provided the baseline of what is needed to ensure a successful mission when the nation calls.”

"I liked the exercise because we were able to incorporate all the stuff we learned in manuals," she said, "and be able to apply it to a strategic level with roc drills using coordination systems and communication with coordinating units."

Opportunities such as Global Medic 2017 CSTX, allow medical professionals to hone their skills while standing ready to answer the nation's calls. The team of professionals are highly skilled, licensed, and proficient in providing health service support.

3rd Medical Command Deployment Support is a senior deployable medical command and control headquarters, providing support to U.S. Army Africa and U.S. Army Central areas of operation. The division provides support and technical supervision for more than 7,500 soldiers and civilians located in 21 states and Puerto Rico to prepare and provide trained soldiers and units to conduct missions in the most capable, combat ready and lethal U.S. Army Reserve force in American history. Capabilities include health care specialists, X-ray technicians, ophthalmology, nurses, physician assistants, physicians, dentists, surgeons, and veterinarians.