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'Maintaineers' showcase combat, medical skills at JRTC

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Soldiers assigned to Company C, 801st Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, showcased their tactical combat skills during a situational training exercise at the Joint Readiness Training Center in Fort Polk, La., Jan. 16.

Upon arriving at the simulated Afghanistan village of Marghoz, the "Maintaineer" soldiers conducted key leader engagements with local national leaders, treated citizens with minor ailments and displayed their ability to proficiently react to contact and counterattack the enemy during the trauma lane training scenario.

"My guys are phenomenal; we had a good plan going into the mission, everyone understood it and knew what their role was," said 1st Lt. Mark Wright, the Company C medical platoon leader and officer in charge of operations.

After leading his troopers into the simulated Afghanistan village, Wright met with role-players acting as local national citizens to speak with them about possible medical issues they were having there.

In addition to diagnosing and treating the local national citizens, Wright's team of combat medics also trained the village doctors on how to treat these routine problems if they ever occurred again.

"We train to shoot, medicate, communicate and then move out," said Wright, a native of Carterville, Ill. "If we can do those things then we'll be successful doing whatever we do, wherever we go."
Midway through their mission at Marghoz, the Maintaineers were ambushed by a group of hostile enemies. Using their tactical combat skills and troop leading procedures they rehearsed and implemented in previous field exercise at Fort Campbell, the medical troopers counterattacked the insurgent forces and defended the village.

"Tactical combat casualty care is something that we drive into all our medics; it's our meat and potatoes... it's what we do," said Wright. "We have to get the basics down. Training under these conditions and providing care under fire is something we've trained and prepared for. I couldn't be prouder of how hard they've trained and how much it has paid off."

After the medical platoon leader received simulated injuries that hindered him from completing the mission, Capt. Jeffrey Paschall, a physical therapist assigned to Company C, assumed that leadership responsibility and led the Maintaineers on to complete the trauma lane training.

"I don't get a lot of time outside of a clinic setting. So it's nice to be able to get this type of training so I can practice care under fire and all the TC3 things we teach," said Paschall a native of Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.

After the soldiers eliminated the enemy threat, they treated the simulated casualties and began transporting them to the nearest medical treatment facility.

Upon completion of the trauma lane training, the Company C soldiers conducted an after action review, where they evaluated possible things they could have done better and assessed procedures they will change or implement during their next training scenario.

"It was good to see that the soldiers were able to know what to do, react well and complete the mission, all while remaining flexible and helping those in need," said Paschall. "The command team here has done a good job in preparing and training these guys. The soldiers themselves have all the tools and we're just refining those assets so we will be set up for success on this future deployment."

The 4th BCT, 101st Airborne Div., is scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan later this year.

Article by Sgt. Terence Ewings, Army.mil