JBSA-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas –
The Medical Education and Training Campus (METC) Combat Medic Specialist Training Program (CMSTP), or 68W, is developing an Introduction to Delayed Evacuation Care component to its capstone Combat Field Training Exercise (CFTX).
During March 2021, twelve METC instructors from the CMSTP Soldier Medic Training Site at JBSA-Camp Bullis attended the Delayed Evacuation Casualty Management (DECM) course hosted by the Fort Hood Medical Simulation Training Center. The course covered didactic lessons and advanced procedural skills including an autologous blood transfusion lab, bladder catheterization and chest tube thoracostomy.
With the Army’s focus shifting to large-scale ground combat in future battlefield operations, this type of training is a pressing priority. The ability to treat casualties at the point of injury and quickly evacuate them to a higher level of care are luxuries predicted to be very limited in future conflicts.
What was traditionally an area limited to special operations medics is now an Army-wide medical concern.
Through partnering with the U.S. Army Medical Center of Excellence’s Tactical Combat Medical Care and Combat Paramedic courses, lessons learned about prolonged care will be shared with the CMSTP team. The goal is to expose the Army’s quintessential point of care medical personnel - the 68W Combat Medic Specialists - early on in their training so they are familiar with the principles of prolonged field care. It will form a foundation for these apprentice medics to build on in their future training.
CMSTP will begin implementing instruction and demonstrations starting with a pilot program in June 2021. Besides the didactic lessons and advanced procedural skills already mentioned, students will be introduced to echelons of care after the point of injury.
As we begin to transition from the doctrine of counterinsurgency and away from the expectation for evacuations and treatment occurring at lightning speed, this important step forward will better prepare medics for a near-peer conflict.