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Home : News
NEWS | March 11, 2022

Pennsylvania National Guard medics train as they fight

By Staff Sgt. Zane Craig, Joint Force Headquarters - Pennsylvania National Guard

FORT INDIANTOWN GAP, Pa. – Combat medics with the Pennsylvania National Guard participated in a nine-day medic sustainment course that ended March 3.

The course enabled the 17 participants to train with other medics outside their home units without taking up time during drill weekends, where most training is conducted.

“All the simulators are located here, and we are a funneling point for the most up-to-date information from the Defense Health Agency,” said Staff Sgt. Alan Hopperstead, noncommissioned officer in charge at the Medical Simulations Training Center (MSTC) at Fort Indiantown Gap Training Site.

“We have realistic scenarios and training they can’t get at their home units,” Hopperstead added. “They’re stepping away from their unit to come here and focus on medic sustainment for nine days.”

The MSTC training facility contains fully integrated classrooms, multiple validation rooms complete with sensory deprivation and video recording capabilities, high fidelity patient simulators, realistic task trainers, an outdoor urban training compound complete with breachable doors, an obstacle course for carrying litters, and more.

By pulling medics in from all the different units across the state, everyone learned from each other and absorbed tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs) for cross-training on best practices.

“It was definitely good to get a nice refresher with up-to-date information and very professional instructors,” said Sgt. Andrew Swartwood, a combat medic with 1st Battalion, 112th Infantry Regiment, 56th Brigade Combat Team, 28th Infantry Division, Pennsylvania Army National Guard.

“There’s always room for improvement,” he said after completing his evaluation, where he treated and evacuated a simulated battlefield casualty. “We’re gonna get him home to his mama.”