The Joint Readiness Training Center is a force readiness platform and crucible combat training center for the Army. But the operations group isn’t the only unit participating in the training action at Fort Polk. Bayne-Jones Army Community Hospital is a designated training facility currently hosting clinical rotations of U.S. Army Nurse Corps cadets, special operations medical personnel, and the 355th Sustainment Medical Company. Bossier City, Louisiana area.
The 355th ASMC is conducting its annual exercise at BJACH and with the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division this summer.
The unit arrived July 18 and will complete its two-week rotation on Friday.
sergeant. 1st Class Joseph Baltz, senior clinical NCO in charge at BJACH, was an integral part of the coordination efforts that brought the 355th to Fort Polk for their annual training.
“I was thrilled to help out and make this event a success for the 355th,” he said. “This is our chance to show our counterparts in the reserves what we are doing to sustain the fight and maintain a medically ready force.”
Baltz said the rotation supports U.S. Army Medical Command’s strategic vision of a ready, reformed, reorganized, responsive and relevant medical force to support the combat mission, anytime, anywhere.
“Between the BJACH and the 355th AMSC, the operations process was exercised, activation orders were created, the unit was mobilized, training was funded and executed when their boots hit the ground last week “, did he declare. “Reserve units are expected to perform at the same level as their active duty counterparts when called upon. If and when the 355th AMSC is activated to answer the call of nations, they will know what the law looks like for their specialty military professionalism, thereby enhancing the support that MEDCOM provides to the fighting force.
Baltz said medics from the 355th AMSC were trained in the emergency department, hospital training and staff development, and auxiliary clinics to hone and hone their basic technical skills.
“We also have dietary technicians, logistics specialists, a behavioral health technician, a medical services officer and a field surgeon currently in training at BJACH,” he said. “I think this rotation speaks volumes about this reserve unit and it’s an honor for their leadership to have made this possible.”
Pfc. Behavioral Health Specialist Serena Sering completes her annual training with the BJACH Behavioral Health Department.
Sering said she loved her military career specialty because she was working toward her degree and social worker license.
“This is my first annual training since completing my advanced individual training,” she said. “Being at BJACH is a valuable experience. I enjoyed working with patients and helping them find solutions to some of their problems.
Coincidentally, Sering is the wife of an active duty behavioral health specialist assigned to BJACH.
sergeant. 1st Class Darryl Dangerfield is a nutritional care specialist assigned to the 355th AMSC.
A retired police officer currently working in private security, Dangerfield said he loves being in the kitchen.
“Coming back into the kitchen and doing nutritional care for patients is a nice change of pace for me,” he said. “The entire BJACH team has treated us like family since we arrived.”
Pfc. Brock Leavitt and Pfc. Emily Tyler are both combat medics working in the BJACH emergency department.
Leavitt said the hands-on training he had at BJACH was very beneficial.
Leavitt and Brock both agree that this is the best annual training they have attended since being posted to their unit.
“I’ve learned a lot over the past two weeks,” Brock said. “I really learned to master the administration of IVs. I had a lot of practice in training, but working with real patients is different from practicing on my fight buddies.
sergeant. 1st Class Brady Kornelis, NCO in charge of BJACH ED, said Leavitt and Brock were eager to learn.
“Since coming to BJACH, they have wanted to learn everything our team can teach them,” he said. “They were continuously involved in patient care to further their medical skills. They administered IVs, took vital signs, performed EKGs, ultrasounds, and assisted in retrieving patients from Cajun Dust-Off (Company C, 1st Battalion, 5th Aviation Regiment). They were nothing short of a force multiplier during their time in my department.
SPC. 355th Combat Medic Tyler Bridges works in the BJACH pathology department for two weeks.
“I enjoyed working in the lab during our annual training this year,” he said. “We get hands-on experience doing our military work in a medical setting. As doctors, we are trained to draw blood, so working as a phlebotomist is a perishable skill that I can hone.
Bridges said the most unique experience he had during this rotation was drawing blood from a baby.
sergeant. Amy Walker and Spc. Triston Wagoner are both unit supply specialists for the 355th AMSC.
In her civilian career, Walker is an advanced medical support assistant for the Department of Veterans Administration. She works at a medical facility, but neither she nor Wagoner have ever done logistics for a hospital before.
“It gave me a lot of insight into what our logistics department does at the VA,” she said. “In addition to my annual training, I gain insight and a better understanding of the organization I work for without the uniform.”
Wagoner said he enjoys being a reservist.
“This rotation has been the closest to our work, it’s great,” he said. “For me, it’s been rewarding working in the warehouse, packing pallets and other things that I’ve never done in the real world. From a training perspective, we had the opportunity to roll up our sleeves and get to work.
The two agreed that they were always ready to activate and deploy when needed.
“For us, this rotation has given those of us in non-medical fields just as much opportunity to train and practice our areas of expertise as the unit’s combat medics,” said Walker. “For me, that’s what made it the best annual training I’ve been on to date.”