Navy Surgeon General Observes Field Training for Team Deploying to World's Busiest Trauma Hospital

Story Number: NNS120119-20Release Date: 1/19/2012 4:23:00 PM
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From Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery Public Affairs

CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. (NNS) -- The U.S. Navy's highest-ranking medical officer visited students at the Kandahar Role 3 Hospital course at Naval Expeditionary Medical Training Institute (NEMTI) Jan. 19 at Camp Pendleton.

Vice Adm. Matthew L. Nathan, U.S. Navy surgeon general and several senior Navy Medicine flag officers met the nearly 200 Sailors and officers undergoing the first pre-deployment training session for the entire staff of a forward-deployed medical facility, and discussed the important role the service members would play by staffing the world's busiest military trauma hospital in Afghanistan.

They visited the Navy's expeditionary medicine training facility and observed the NEMTI Role 3 Kandahar course's final exercise. During the exercise, students implemented the clinical skills they honed during the two-week course. Kandahar Role 3 students participated in a scenario-driven series of exercises, including staffing a fully equipped hospital receiving patients with traumatic injuries, implementing triage procedures, a simulated air strike, simulated improvised explosive device scenarios, MOPP level-4 drills, and a mass casualty drill, all designed to foster the teamwork the next staff at the Kandahar Role 3 hospital will employ.

The NEMTI-sponsored Kandahar Role 3 course - the first U.S. Navy-led effort to integrate NEMTI in the pre-deployment training pipeline for medical personnel - is designed to allow members of the next rotation of service members deploying to the world's busiest trauma hospital the opportunity to train together, something Nathan said is imperative.

"Care for the warfighter is why we exist," he said. "This is our top priority. Our combat casualty care capability represents a continuum of training from battlefield to bedside to rehabilitative care and support."

Kandahar Role 3 Hospital course students were exposed to numerous classes during the nearly three-week course. Day-long clinical skill station practical scenarios encompassing the variety of injuries deploying personnel could see, classroom lectures on ethics, and other medical-related hands-on and classroom material were taught by NEMTI staff.

Rear Adm. Eleanor Valentin, commander, Navy Medicine Support Command, who has oversight of Navy Medicine education and training including NEMTI, said efforts such as the Kandahar Role 3 Hospital course continue to prove integral to the overall success of supporting ongoing contingency operations around the world.

"This training was designed, foremost, to save lives," she said. "Lifesaving training has been and will continue to be the cornerstone of Navy Medicine Support Command's education and training mission. You can see the results of these efforts on the battlefield. U.S. military personnel in Afghanistan are experiencing the lowest battle mortality rates in history, due in large part to exceptional military medical personnel and their training. Our training is also realistic. Naval Expeditionary Medical Training Institute provides an environment and realistic training programs that help medical personnel prepare to deploy to save lives."

Service members completing the Kandahar Role 3 Hospital course, which began Jan. 7 and is scheduled to conclude Jan. 21, will next complete military requirements at training sites such as Fort Dix, N.J., or Fort Jackson, S.C.

Also observing this unique training program were Rear Adm. C. Forrest Faison, III, commander, Navy Medicine West and Naval Medical Center San Diego; Rear Adm. Colin G. Chinn, MC, director, TRICARE Regional Office - West; Rear Adm. Michael H. Anderson, MC, the medical officer to the Marine Corps; and Rear Adm. Charles Harr, deputy to the medical officer of the Marine Corps/deputy director, Medical Corps, Reserve Component.

NEMTI, the premier U.S. Navy training facility for expeditionary medicine, reports to the Navy Medicine Operational Training Center (NMOTC) in Pensacola, Fla., and NMSC, headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla.

NEMTI, NMOTC and NMSC are part of the Navy Medicine team, a global healthcare network of 63,000 Navy medical personnel around the world who provide high-quality health care to more than one million eligible beneficiaries. Navy Medicine personnel deploy with Sailors and Marines worldwide, providing critical mission support aboard ship, in the air, under the sea and on the battlefield.

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