FORT KNOX, Ky. — Soldiers and medical specialists from 1st Medical Brigade began participating in Cadet Summer Training April 24, and will continue until their mission concludes in August.
One of the Army’s largest training exercises, CST facilitates the development of cadet leadership skills, instills confidence through scenario based training and develops high quality future Army leaders.
1st Med. Bde. is currently assigned to support CST as Task Force Medical and officially assumed mission command on May 23. TF MED’s ongoing mission is to provide world class health service support and force health protection to all CST cadets and cadre totaling over 15,000 personnel.
Soldiers from over 25 United States Forces Command units, 25 Medical Command facilities and various Army Reserve Medical Command units are also attached to TF MED in support of this mission.
Maj. Thomas Collette, executive officer for 627th Hospital Center and TF MED, plays a crucial role during this mission.
“I analyze the mission and put together a mission command capable of serving TF MED and execute mission command over all TF MED assets,” Collette said. “Once TF MED was established, my role changed primarily to staff oversight and I am now focused on providing guidance and direction in support of the commander’s intent.”
TF MED provides capabilities that support almost all of the 10 medical functions with the exception of veterinary support and hospitalization.
“We provide point of injury medical surveillance and care through our regimental and committee medics,” Collette said. “We also operate Role 1 and Role 2 aid stations to provide both acute care and sick call services.”
Both ground and air medical evacuation is also readily available through High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle and three helicopter assets in support of urgent casualties who require a higher level of care.
4th Forward Support Medical Platoon, Company C (Air Ambulance) of the 2nd General Support Aviation Battalion, 4th Combat Aviation Brigade is the first military unit to provide Air medical evacuation coverage in 10 years.
“We are working alongside of 911 dispatch, Department of Emergency Services, Emergency Medical Services, Fort Knox Fire Department and range control to provide medical support,” Sgt. 1st Class Samuel Garced, 4th FSMP platoon sergeant, said. “This is increasingly important, because it gives cadets and cadre a sense of security and safety while training. We will exhaust every resource possible to ensure we rescue our own.”
The goal is to provide medical support in order to keep cadets and cadre training to the greatest extent possible to support the Army mission and develop Reserve Officers’ Training Corps cadets to be prepared to lead Soldiers.
In addition to providing two lines of air MEDEVAC coverage, Co. C is teaching “MED101” classes to incoming healthcare specialists. The class objectives include requesting air MEDEVAC assets, approaching and loading HH-60M MEDEVAC helicopters, preparing a Sked for a hoist extraction and transferring patient care to the flight paramedics.
“This is critical to ensure that in the event of a serious incident, we are all prepared to support the future officers of the U.S. Army to the best of our abilities,” Garced said.
TF MED will continue to train Soldiers in order to retain readiness and provide medical oversight and recommendations to the Army Cadet Command through medical subject matter experts.
Medical emergencies cannot be predicted, however, TF MED is prepared to respond at a moment’s notice to save lives, if or when a situation were to arise.