3 September 2015 --
FORT HUNTER LIGGETT, Calif. -- U.S. Navy corpsmen with the Shock Trauma Platoon assigned to Combat Logistics Battalion 13, the logistics combat element of the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, practiced handling injured personnel delivered to an airfield during Realistic Urban Training Exercise at Fort Hunter Liggett, California, Sept. 2, 2015, as part of pre-deployment training for their upcoming deployment to the Western Pacific and Central Command areas of operation.
“When there are injured Marines coming back on birds you’ve got to get them into care quick, and that’s where we come in,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Matthew Porzio, a corpsman with CLB-13 and leading petty officer for the STP.
“The [Shock Trauma Platoon] is an asset that can transport injured [personnel] to a nearby field facility and stabilize them, or get them to a higher level of care.”
During RUT, the platoon is serving as real-time medical support as well as the aid station for simulated casualties created by conflict within the exercise.
According to Porzio, if care is provided within an hour, survivability is significantly improved. This critical hour is referred to as the “golden hour.” With the “golden hour” in mind, he and his troops train with the aircraft they could encounter while on deployment. The corpsmen will continue to practice these techniques until the transitions from the air to medical care become seamless.
“Most of the platoon hasn’t had any experience with aircraft and this exercise is the first time they’ve worked together, too,” said Lt. Cmdr. Danielle Griffith, a medical officer with CLB-13 and the lead medical officer for the Shock Trauma Platoon. “But the Shock Trauma Platoon has a big job to do, so we train to come together and keep Marines in the fight.”
Navy corpsmen have been keeping Marines in the fight since the foundation of the Hospital Corps 1898, and the sailors slated to deploy with the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit continue to train to keep the tradition alive even from the skies in any clime and place.