U.S. Navy Sailors with 1st Medical Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group and Marines from within the group completed a Marine Corps Combat Readiness Evaluation from Oct. 17-21 aboard Camp Pendleton, Calif.
A MCCRE is designed to test the combat effectiveness of Sailors and Marines.
"We are able to do all levels of care here, whether that's administering medicine, conducting surgery, or even just giving them a place to rest until they're back on their feet," said Petty Officer 2nd Class Apollo Silva, a field medical technician with 1st Med Bn. "Every medical technician has their role and everyone is integral to getting the patient the care they need to potentially save their lives."
The scenarios given to the Marines and Sailors were specifically designed to push them to their limits and test their ability to respond quickly.
"We're inserting patient scenarios that we would be likely to see in a field environment such as mass casualty, a downed helicopter and an explosion," said Lt. Cmdr. Aaron Bowlin, the company senior nurse for 1st Med Bn.
Although the services administered by the medical technicians in this field environment were highly successful, the goal is to evacuate priority patients to a full service medical facility.
"During these drills we're looking for a fast response from our Marines and Sailors," said Bowlin. "In a life or death scenario you don't have time to lollygag."
Bowlin explained how he felt the varied experience levels of medical technicians was an advantage for this exercise.
"During this MCCRE we have people with a wide range of experience that can help the people who may not be as experienced to learn from those that are," said Bowlin. "A big part of this exercise is to share what you know and get better."
Navy medical technicians are trained to provide a wide range of treatment and services.
"Once the patient is stabilized, if we have the means to move them to a higher echelon of care we will as quickly as possible," said Silva.
Getting this hands-on experience is instrumental for the Marines and Sailors here, he explains.
"Exercises like this are really important because they prepare us for the fight; they give us that experience of training and doing exactly what we would be doing in a war-time scenario," said Silva. "It also gives us a higher level of confidence with the equipment we use."
Marines from 1st MLG participated in the exercise mainly to provide transportation and security for the Sailors.
"Navy medicine is here to make sure everyone gets home safe, but they wouldn't be able to do what they do without the Marines," said Bowlin. "Whether it's providing utilities or motor transport support, or setting up security. This MCCRE is about working as a team."
Marines and Sailors rely on each other and their collective skills to ensure they're combat effective.
"Working with and being alongside Marines is another [challenge] from being in the hospital; Marines carry themselves different and I like working with them because of that." said Silva. "Just being able to help out the Marines while they're doing their job and working towards mission completion is an honor."