By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Chris Brown, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West, Det. Northwest
YAKIMA, Wash. – Two Navy Corpsmen and more than 60 Marines from Marine Corps Security Force Battalion (MCSFBN) Bangor, Alpha Company, 3rd Platoon, completed a six-day live fire training exercise, April 19.
The exercise consisted of an urban assault course that had a support-by-fire position maneuvering with an assaulting element moving through a mock town with basic lifesavers classes taught throughout the exercise by the corpsmen.
With bullets flying from all directions during the exercise, safety was the biggest concern for Marine Capt. Adam Vetter, platoon commander.
“I was very impressed with the Marines and the corpsmen,” said Vetter. “What we did today was inherently dangerous. We had bullets going towards Marines, who were going through the town and having the ability to have two corpsmen really helps alleviate some of the worry.”
One of the corpsman went through the maneuver element to triage any casualties that may have occurred in the town, and a second corpsman was in the rear. The two corpsmen, Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class John Babauta and Hospitalman Josue Alcantar, rotated through each live run through the exercise.
“Having two duty experts that can assess a casualty and treat that casualty really helps take a load off my plate knowing my guys are in good hands,” said Vetter.
Several classes were taught during the exercise by the corpsmen, allowing Marines to get a basic understanding of the proper fundamental aspects of dealing with a life-threatening injury on the battlefield.
“Proper techniques save lives,” said Babauta. “Improper techniques can be more damaging and even life threatening compared to the original injury. That’s why it is so important that we get out here and help teach the basics should they ever need it.”
The combat lifesavers classes were a first for many of the young Marines participating in the exercise.
“These were two of the most motivated corpsmen I have seen in my four years coming from the fleet,” said Vetter. “They were anxious to learn, and more importantly they were anxious to pass on the knowledge they have to these Marines.”
Navy Hospital Corpsmen provide treatment for thousands of Sailors and Marines to keep them fit and ready to serve at the best of their abilities. Corpsmen receive a broad range of healthcare experience that enables them to help administer a wide range of preventive care and deliver emergency medical or dental treatment to Sailors and Marines in the field.