Sunday, September 29, 2013

Day 31-33

Well our week started out bright and early in front of our hotel waiting on the buses to show up to get us out to Camp Bullis. The Monday before it had rained on us this Monday it was chilly. We could see our breathes in the morning and the temperature was in the low 50's! I understand this is not that cold in the grand scheme of things but it was a change from the high 90's to low 100's that we had been having the week before. When we got out to the FOB we collected up our weapons and had a MRE for breakfast before we split up into platoons and started going through training on our Role's of care. In the Army they have 4 roles of medical care. Role 1 is front line care given by Medics along with physician's and physician's assistants (PA's) at a Brigade Aid Station which is essentially tailgate medicine where they pull up a HUMVEE put out a few tables and try to stabilize casualties to get them back to the FOB. Role 2 is a FOB where they can do more treatment but it is still very limited trying to stabilize patients for evacuation back to more care. You are only able to hold patients here for up to 72 hours and then they must be evacuated or returned to duty. This is the level that Physical Therapists are first found at to help try to return to soldiers back to full duty instead of evacuating them back and losing them for longer periods of time. Role 3 is a CSH (Combat Support Hospital) this is a hospital where they can perform more advanced surgeries and hold patients for longer periods to stabilize them to wait to evacuation to a role 4 or to RTD (return to duty.) Role 4 is the larger medical centers found in Germany and the U.S. where the most advanced care is given. So on Monday we went over how to set up and secure a Role 1 treatment location. We covered picking a location, providing security, layout of treatment area, triage and evacuation set up. On Tuesday we covered CBRN training (Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear) we basically went through out to set up a decontamination station and how we would decontaminate injured soldiers so that we could move them back for full treatment or evacuation to further advanced care. After we did our walk and crawl phase of training, they called a CBRN attack and we had to get our gas masks out of the bag and on and cleared in less than 9 seconds. Our final step was running a patient through the whole decontamination process with our masks on and rubber aprons on. Wednesday we headed out to the range to do our mock qualification. I say that because we are not officially qualified till we are with our units and pass. Anyways we got out to the range and we were given 2, 20 round magazines and 4, 10 round magazines because we were going to get to shoot through the test 2 times. My first time through I seemed to be doing okay but most of the targets were not going down right away. I was not sure where I was missing though because I could not see the bullet splashing in the dirt. After finishing the kneeling stage of my first qualification test. (You shoot 20 rounds in prone supported, 10 rounds prone unsupported and 10 rounds kneeling.) I asked my spotter where I was missing and he was not sure but stated that it looked good. My second time through the test I was having a lot of the same issues. The targets were very hard to see (green on green background) and they did not seem to be going down when you hit them even though you could not see where the round was hitting, so I was guessing that I was hitting behind the target. Well when I got out to the  tower after my second round we met up with one of the range officers and he informed us he did not have a score for any of us because the computer was not registering hits, taking down targets or working at all during our 2 rounds, but he said if we wanted to go again we might be able to go at the end. While we waited for everyone to finish we marched down the road and get oriented to the Blackhawk that we would be using during our final week of FTX. After we finished that we headed back to the range and they asked if anyone wanted to go again so I volunteered and headed back. This time we were only given 40 rounds which was enough to go through the test once. This time when I lined up to shoot the targets seemed to be going down much quicker when I shot and seemed to be more responsive overall. When I finished I headed back to the tower to see my score and I found out that I hit 30 out of 40 which was not bad but I had felt like I did much better. The range officer said that was one of the best scores he has seen all day though and that they had been having glitches in the system. He also said that if you could shoot that on this course you would probably to much better once you could get your own weapon, so that made me feel a little better. Overall it was a good first few days of the week, I will cover Thursday and Friday later.

This is a picture of our truck that takes
us around each day parked at the range.
This is another picture of range where
we did our shooting.
This is a picture of the specialist who
was giving us a tour of the Blackhawk.

This is another picture of us gathered
around the UH-60 (Blackhawk)
This is a picture of the inside of the
Blackhawk where the litters are

This is the litter holders in the Blackhawk
it can hold 4 litters. Once the 4 litters are
loaded you rotate them 90 degrees so they
run perpendicular in the aircraft and you
are able to get to all 4 patients.

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