“Clear the village, provide medical aid to the wounded
American solider, and evacuate” were the orders for the four soldiers
demonstrating the new Medical Simulation Training Center, set to open
officially the afternoon of April 18.
The MSTC provides a facility that incorporates comprehensive
training in several formats: classroom, practical hands-on training,
simulation, trauma lanes and distance learning.
According to SSG Marc Stringer, the facility came to fruition
in August 2018, and began work in January 2019. The center provides realistic
combat trauma scenarios and simulations to transform the Combat Medic training
“With this facility, we’re actually able to sit there and
give them the real and best combat training that we can, without putting them
in harm’s way,” Stringer said. “We can simulate combat conditions—daytime,
nighttime—and when we place our village outside, it will give them the
capability for the surgical hospital [so they] can set their tents up and train
in one spot.”
The Combat Medics are not always going to be there, Stringer
continued, which is where the Combat Life Savers come in. The MSTC provides
multiple different courses, including the three most common: Combat Lifesaver
course, the Basic Life Support course, and the Tactical Combat Casualty Care
The facility is meant to enhance medical care on the
battlefield, Stringer said. Soldiers—both medical and non-medical, receive the
crucial training that can be applied in the field.
The Combat Lifesavers learn the critical skills to provide
medical aid in the field, but are not considered medical personnel, Stringer
continued. Those soldiers learn skills to prevent casualties in the field,
including the top three: hemorrhage control, tension pneumothorax, and airway
Multiple classrooms are littered with simulation dummies and
medical equipment for use, including such realistic dummies that they breathe,
blink, and can be controlled with a tablet to mimic certain health conditions
and situations a soldier may experience in combat.
There is an indoor village that can mimic day or night
conditions, and allows for multiple different scenarios to be played out,
“The capabilities of this facility, it is the best in the
Army, I believe, at simulating training for the soldiers so that once they get
on the battlefield, nothing will catch them by surprise, we try to enhance
everything they see on the battlefield,” Stringer said.
The building is important, because it provides the most
realistic training to prepare soldiers for combat, he said. As soldiers, they
prepare for combat and go forward to fight for the country.
The demonstration showcased the capabilities of the
facility, including the practice that soldiers get evaluating and assessing a casualty
during combat, and evacuating the wounded.
Sgt. Mark Epps, one of the four soldiers demonstrating the
facility, believes that the realistic scenarios supplement, and sometimes
exceeds, the training in the classroom.
“It’s the amount of realism it gets to, how close it gets,”
Epps said. “You can do stuff in a classroom all day long, and in individual
parts, but you don’t really get a good feeling with how familiar with the
material, the treatment, your abilities—until you do it all at once. Until you
do it from initial point of contact all the way to treatment and evacuation,
builds a lot more confidence.”
Because of the experience a soldier gets running through the
simulation village, Epps would recommend it to everyone. It’s a way to enhance
skills and work with some equipment that not every unit has the chance to work
“If everyone in the
team does their job, you’ll be good,” Epps said. “Stay focused. If we all do
our parts, we all walk out happy.”