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New life saving course offers up-to-date, realistic training

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Sailors and Marines from 2nd Marine Logistics Group unveiled a new and improved way to teach combat life saving skills during the opening of their new Tactical Combat Casualty Care and Combat Life Saving Simulation Lab aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., Dec 15, 2009.

The new, three-day class combines traditional TCCC/CLS subjects including hemorrhage control, airway management, burn injury, shock and individual first aid with a new urban combat simulation, built and operated by the sailors of Bravo Surgical Company, 2nd Medical Battalion, 2nd MLG. According to Lt. Cmdr. Troy L. King, company commander, Bravo Surgical Company, the new training environment is a huge improvement over the traditional way of teaching CLS. He explained that in previous courses students would learn the material and then undergo practical application using life-like mannequins in a class room environment. In the refurbished course, students learn the material and are then tested in a simulated urban combat environment, better assessing their abilities at a standard they may use in real world situations. Petty Officer 2nd Class Tim O. Moore, a hospital corpsman with Bravo Surgical Company, explained that the simulated environment makes students use combat tactics while responding to casualties in a smoke-filled area while bright lights and loud combat sound effects fill the room. “It gets them thinking in a tactical mindset,” he said. “The intent of the lights, smoke and sound effects is to disorient the caretaker in a manner of which they might experience in combat.” “I have deployed a couple of times and this is the most realistic training I have ever seen,” he added. The realistic mannequins perform a number of human-like processes such as bleeding and breathing; they even have voice capabilities and can make sounds that one may make while injured. “This is a great initiative on the part of [2nd Medical Battalion],” said Brig. Gen. Juan G. Ayala, commanding general, 2nd MLG. “The training I observed was as realistic as I've ever seen … In my opinion, this training will save the lives of Marines and Sailors.” Navy Capt. Efren S. Saenz, the commanding officer of 2nd Medical Battalion, said the realistic new course will help his battalion better prepare Marines and sailors for combat situations now and in the future. “With this Tactical Combat Casualty Care and Combat Life Saver Simulation Lab we will be able to meet our requirements to continue to train our sailors within the MLG,” he said of the new facility. “In the future we will be able to facilitate [II Marine Expeditionary Force] units so they can do their TCCC and CLS training.”