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Arleigh Burke Completes Fleet Support Ops Medical Training; Naval Medical Center Portsmouth Supports

15 October 2020
USS Arleigh Burke (DDG-51) partnered with Naval Medical Center Portsmouth (NMCP) to complete Fleet Support Operations-Medical (FSO-M) training Sept. 23 as part of her basic phase of training in preparation.

USS Arleigh Burke (DDG-51) partnered with Naval Medical Center Portsmouth (NMCP) to complete Fleet Support Operations-Medical (FSO-M) training Sept. 23 as part of her basic phase of training in preparation.

During FSO-M training, NMCP and Arleigh Burke’s training department used simulations to increase the realism of casualties that could be experienced during a mass casualty, if the ship were to suffer severe damage resulting in injuries to the crew. 

The objective of the drill is to challenge crewmembers to respond and to assist their medical team to swiftly take all necessary measures to minimize potential deaths. Ens. Uriah Woodyard-Fair, from Atlanta, Georgia, Arleigh Burke’s triage officer said he felt the objective was met.

“This drill really help me understand my role as the Triage Officer and just how important it is for me to make the right call,” said Woodyard-Fair.  

To provide the crew of Arleigh Burke an opportunity to gain from the experience of battlefield-tested instructors and see advanced simulations that replicate real life trauma situations, NMCP’s simulation department provided gear typically used when training personnel with a more advanced medical background.

Personnel Specialist 3rd Class Eyatom Pini, from New York, New York said the simulated gear made the drill more effective.

“For a moment I thought the injuries were real,” said Pini. “It was a lot of blood and more realistic than the props we have onboard.” 

The realism of the FSO-M drill was made possible by Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Jason Waters from Gaithersburg, Maryland. This entire drill is an effort to enhance the crew’s ability to train like they fight. 

“This experience was a major leap towards certification,” said Waters. “I coordinated this opportunity because I believed this hands on opportunity would not only benefit the crew and shipboard Medical Training Team (MTT) but also the mission. This experience brought to reality that in a wartime scenario things aren’t as cut and dry as we may practice, but instead you have to get creative in order to save a shipmate. I think from this we not only proved to Afloat Training Group (ATG) but also to ourselves that when we work as a team we have the ability and the tools to be the best warfighters on the high seas.”

In the future, members of the MTT expressed they would like to continue to show the water front that they can work hand-in-hand with medical centers to get real life simulations and hands on experience.

“Many people don’t know what resources are available when training their crew,” added Waters. “I just wanted to show that there are resources available and they are worth the extra effort to get onboard.”

Arleigh Burke is in the basic phase of training. During basic phase, ATG works with ships to execute multiple exercises for various warfare areas to gain the baseline knowledge necessary to be successful in the advanced phase of training. Arleigh Burke has demonstrated superb performance throughout the basic phase and continues to identify opportunities to enhance the crew’s training experience. 

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