From Navy Medicine Education and Training Command Public Affairs
CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. (NNS) -- Active-duty and Reserve Sailors participating in a course designed to integrate all members of a medical team scheduled to staff the world's busiest trauma hospital were visited by Marines from Wounded Warrior Battalion West Aug. 7 at Camp Pendleton, Calif.
Students in the Naval Expeditionary Medical training Institute (NEMTI)-sponsored Role-3 Kandahar Course - a training evolution that fully develops a medical team scheduled to deploy in support of contingency operations around the world - received the opportunity to ask questions, receive feedback and meet six service members, each of whom maintains a close tie with Navy Medicine professionals. NEMTI operational project manager Cmdr. Kevin Beasley, said the two-hour session served as a reminder of the important role expeditionary medical professionals play each day.
"Having wounded warrior interaction as part of pre-deployment training seals the importance of our mission as U.S. Navy health care providers," he said. "They provide the realism, reminding us of our own humanity, their sacrifices and why we continue to go forward, providing health care as long as they fight. The message is clear with them. They embody the honor and courage that ensures our commitment."
Wounded Warrior Battalion West, part of the Marine Corps Wounded Warrior Regiment, provides and facilitates non-medical care to combat and non-combat wounded, ill and injured (WII) Marines, Sailors attached to or in direct support of Marine units, and their family members. The objective is to help them return to duty or transition to civilian life.
Hospital Corpsman 1st Class (FMF/CAC) Charlie Farmer, Kandahar Role-3 Course student, said the question and answer session provided him the opportunity to visualize what they would be doing when deployed to Kandahar Role-3 - to put a face and story with the sorts of injuries they could see.
"This focuses everyone's attention on what our purpose will be when we get over there," he said. "It lets us focus on what our job is going to be and what the end result will be."
The nearly two-hour session focused on the path of care the six individuals received after their respective injuries, as well as issues the Wounded Warriors faced during their recovery. Each service member fielded questions from the nearly 200 Role-3 Kandahar students, offering advice and responses to the numerous scenarios the assembled health care professionals presented.
Lt. Cmdr. Miguel Gutierrez, Kandahar Role-3 Course student, said the integration of the Wounded Warrior panel offered a unique insight into the role of expeditionary medicine, something he said could have a profound impact on all students preparing to deploy.
"As a provider, having the Wounded Warriors incorporated into this curriculum lets all of us see the importance of what we do, and the end result, which is the Sailors, Soldiers, Airmen and Marines coming home and the impact that we all have on their journey."
The NEMTI Role-3 Kandahar Course marks only the second time the entire staff of enlisted and commissioned medical professionals and support personnel assigned to a forward-deployed medical facility began pre-deployment training together.
The NEMTI-sponsored Kandahar Role-3 Hospital course is a two-week program designed to foster teamwork, and build and hone medical skills specific to what U.S. military medical professionals might expect while on deployment to the Role 3 Hospital at Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan. The course was initially offered in January 2012 and met with resounding success. Service members previously deploying in support of operations in Africa, Afghanistan and Iraq were either sent individually or in small groups, replacing other personnel with similar specialties or Navy Enlisted Classifications (NECs) on a "one-for-one" basis.
U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, Navy Medicine Education and Training Command and the operational training leadership, however, recognized the need for additional requirements in the training pipeline, suggesting a course that would allow deploying personnel the opportunity to train together from the inception, fostering a sense of teamwork and unity imperative for the continued success medical personnel have affected in some of the most dangerous areas in the world.
The term "role" describes the tiers in which medical support is organized, with Role-3 describing the capabilities of a theater-level hospital.
The course, designed by NEMTI, was approved by U.S. Fleet Forces Command, U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) and the former Navy Medicine Support Command in response to deployment requirements and feedback received from previously deployed personnel including past and current commanding officers of the North American Treaty Organization-run Role-3 Kandahar Medical Facility. The course includes a variety of medical training courses.
Service members completing the Kandahar Role-3 Hospital course will next complete CENTCOM military requirements aboard training sites such as Fort Dix, N.J., and Fort Jackson, S.C.
NEMTI, the premier U.S. Navy training facility for expeditionary medicine, reports to the Navy Medicine Operational Training Center (NMOTC) in Pensacola, Fla., and the Medical Education and Training Command in San Antonio, Texas.
NEMTI and NMOTC and are part of the Navy Medicine team, a global health care network of 63,000 Navy medical personnel around the world who provide high-quality health care to the operational forces and 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.