CAMP DODGE, Iowa –
The Vermont Army National Guard’s 186th Brigade Support Battalion completed its annual training at the Army National Guard Sustainment Training Center (STC) at Camp Dodge, Iowa, July 31-Aug. 13.
The 186th BSB’s mission is to provide logistical support to its parent unit, the 86th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Mountain). That support is diverse and includes supply distribution, field maintenance, and medical support. The BSB is multifunctional and has a headquarters company that provides command and control, administrative support, and logistical support to the 86th IBCT. There is also a distribution company, a field maintenance company, a medical support company, and a forward support company. Planning and moving the entire BSB to Camp Dodge is a practical logistics operation in itself.
“The focus was on refresher classes for our EMT training on the civilian side, and also the 68W training for the combat medic mission,” said Spc. Sophia Parker, a 68 Whiskey Combat Medic with Charlie Medical, 186th BSB. “During the second week, we put that training into action. We conducted a medical training exercise where we set up a role two medical center in a simulated combat environment and began patient evacuation operations. We were able to evacuate live simulated patients from the point of injury to our medical center for stabilization and then evacuate them to a higher level of care. It was really great training and an opportunity to build morale and unit cohesiveness.”
The medical staff was joined by Soldiers from North Macedonia, one of the Vermont National Guard’s State Partners as part of the State Partnership Program. The Soldiers from North Macedonia are part of a medical company that has a similar mission to the 186th.
Maj. Kimberly Holbrook, Commander of Charlie Medical, explains that the Soldiers from North Macedonia were able to fully integrate into their unit for the exercises.
“Each Soldier would fall into a position similar to that of their organic company back in North Macedonia. For example, the provider will fill one of our provider's roles, the evacuation medic would fill an evacuation slot, and so on. This allowed the MKD to fully participate in our activities,” said Holbrook.
The Sustainment Training Center provides training for more than the medics of the 186th. There’s training for all the elements of the BSB, supply and distribution, forward support, maintenance, and other technical training.
“We were set up a command post, then initiated LOGPAC operations resupplying water, fuel, and other supplies while in a tactical environment,” said Lt. James Kelley from Alpha Company of the 186th. “It’s great training in a situation we don’t normally get to train in. It was great for our Soldiers, great for Alpha Company, and great training. We had a really good time.” The training that the BSB can get at the STC at Camp Dodge is more comprehensive than the training they can perform at home station in Vermont. Sgt. Maj. Melinda Crosby explains.
"Mission essential tasks and key collective tasks are performed with hands-on MOS specific training and use actual equipment, realistic and performance sensitive mannequins, and tactical environments to encompass the Unified Land Operations concept."