Deliberate design, documentation and dust dominated an unusual field hospital training exercise conducted recently at Fort Carson, Colorado, marking a first for U.S. soldiers participating in the conversion of a facility into a modular unit.
The exercise reconfigured an existing combat support hospital to increase battlefield medical support, an Army release said. During the exercise, the hospital was converted into a smaller mobile unit with the capacity to connect with surgical, medical and intermediate care ward detachments.
"This is not your typical field training exercise," 10th Field Hospital Commander Lt. Col. Sabrina Thweatt said in the release. “We must be deliberate and take our time to document deficiencies, lessons learned and best practices. … My boots are dusty, and they haven't been dusty in a while."
Now overseen by the 627th Hospital Center under the direction of Col. Mark Stevens, the results called for modified training procedures.
While the soldiers had the chance to practice patient resuscitation, wound and damage control surgery, and post-operative care in a temporary setting, they also experienced firsthand the adjustments and unexpected conditions of mobilizing a hospital – from spreading tarps on the ground to connecting waste, water and power systems.
"What we are doing here at Fort Carson will not only prepare our team for upcoming deployments, but will also set the conditions for success across … the full spectrum of unified land operations," Stevens said in the release.