US Army Reserve Medical Soldiers embed with active duty counterparts for overseas deployment training

Story by Sgt. Christina Dion

US Army Reserve Medical Soldiers embed with active duty counterparts for overseas deployment training
U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers with 6250th U.S. Army Hospital based at Joint Base Lewis McChord, Washington, provided medical support during a mission with medics of Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 4th Battalion, 319th Airborne Field Regiment, 173rd Infantry Brigade (Airborne), on Bunker Drop Zone while 173rd Inf. Bde. (Airborne) Soldiers performed airborne operations at the U.S. Army’s 7th Army Joint Multinational Training Command Grafenwoehr Training Area, July 23. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Christina M. Dion/released)
GRAFENWOEHR, Germany — As the C-130 flew overhead, streams of parachutes attached to static lines drop from the aircraft side doors as paratroopers from the 173rd Infantry Brigade (Airborne) jumped to earth. One by one, they landed randomly across the field.

Walking from one paratrooper to the next at the 7th Army Joint Multinational Training Command Bunker Drop Zone in Grafenwoehr Training Area, Spc. Estar Hegel, a medic with the 6250th Army Hospital and Port Orchard, Washington native, asks Soldiers if they are ok after their jump. Known as BDZ, this training area is one of the only drop zones in Europe where both personnel and heavy equipment can drop for airborne operations. For medics on foot, there is a lot of space to cover.

Without stopping, Hegel moved from one paratrooper to the next observing movements for signs of injuries and asking for verbal acknowledgement.

Although you’d never know from the serious look on her face, she was thrilled to be there. “I never thought I’d get to do something like this,” she said as she walked the vast open space. “It’s definitely an impressive experience.”

Each year most U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers get the opportunity to train outside of their home stations to locations such as Fort Hunter-Liggett, California or Fort McCoy, Wisconsin as part of their Annual Deployment Training. Others are chosen to participate in training opportunities that take them even further from home.

A program known as the Overseas Deployment Training, along with Operation Atlantic Resolve, brought many to Europe to train for three-weeks or more with active-duty units running a variety of training missions.

One unit out of Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, the 6250th Army Hospital, brought five Soldiers with varying medical military occupational specialties to the Grafenwoehr Army Health Clinic for their three-week training assignment.

Along with working in the clinic, the medical Soldiers spent the day with active-duty Army medics on a drop zone on July 23.

Not only did the medical team learn how to patrol a drop zone, they were given instructions how to prepare a field litter ambulance back at the Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 4th Battalion, 319th Airborne Field Regiment, 173th Infantry Brigade (Airborne) motor pool. Active-duty medic, Sgt. Tyler Sheeks, gave the reservists an orientation of the FLA, safety procedures as well as how to use the radio in case someone had to be medically evacuated off the drop zone.

Both National Guard and Reserve Soldiers perform ODT here, and not only learn to hone their skills. “It was nice having them with us,” said Sheeks. He said they always welcome support.

The Soldiers are here to train, however they add value bringing their Citizen-Soldier skills to the offices they support. Performing missions that support training as well as assisting Soldiers is an added value to the ODT program.

Read more: http://www.dvidshub.net/news/137286/us-army-reserve-medical-soldiers-embed-with-active-duty-counterparts-overseas-deployment-training#.U_D2erySwsI#ixzz3AfyWisdZ

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Read more: http://www.dvidshub.net/news/137286/us-army-reserve-medical-soldiers-embed-with-active-duty-counterparts-overseas-deployment-training#.U_EC2LySwsI#ixzz3AgBjxSRT

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