Skip main navigation

Military Health System

Clear Your Browser Cache

This website has recently undergone changes. Users finding unexpected concerns may care to clear their browser's cache to ensure a seamless experience.

Medical Modeling and Simulation Experts Make Military Exercise More Realistic, Effective

Image of Medical Modeling and Simulation Experts Make Military Exercise More Realistic, Effective. U.S. Army Capt. Ashley Sarlo, a critical care nurse attached to the 240th Forward Resuscitative Surgical Detachment, simulates experimental postoperative critical care at Camp Grayling, Michigan, Aug. 12 during Exercise Northern Strike 2023, one of the Department of Defense’s largest reserve component readiness exercises. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Jacob Cessna)

The Defense Health Agency’s Defense Medical Modeling & Simulation Office provided subject matter experts to support Exercise Northern Strike 2023, which took place at multiple training areas throughout Michigan, Aug. 12-15, involving more than 7,000 participants from 25 states, one territory, and four international partners.

According to a Michigan National Guard press release, Exercise Northern Strike 2023 is one of Department of Defense’s largest reserve component readiness exercises involving multiple training areas including the National All-Domain Warfighting Center, encompassing Camp Grayling Maneuver Training Center and Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center. Participants also conducted training at Selfridge Air National Guard Base and Oscoda-Wurtsmith Airfield.

Defense Medical Modeling and Simulation Office personnel, within DHA’s Education and Training Directorate, were on-site, observing the use of modeling and simulation during the prolonged care augmentation detachment experiment. Unique to the 2023 exercise design is the integration of intra-theater medical care training, where participants evacuated simulated patients to Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, for follow-on medical treatment.

DMMSO leads the agency’s efforts in centralizing management of the military’s medical modeling and simulation capabilities and solutions supporting medical education and training within the Military Health System.

Ruben Garza, chief of DMMSO, said the team’s mission was to observe and identify gaps that need to be corrected, making the training more realistic and effective, which will help DMMSO with future exercises of this caliber.

“My team provided their simulation expertise regarding use of current simulation technologies and what best fits the exercise training modality, which is important because DMMSO is responsible for all simulation activities in the Medical Health System,” he added. “We identify the correct training technology to be used in both clinical and readiness environments.”

U.S. Army Lt. Col. Margaret Kucia, capability manager of Army Health System’s Medical Capability Development Integration Directorate, Army Futures Command at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, said the Army’s Medical Center of Excellence personnel observed Prolonged Care Augmentation Detachment’s capabilities and its capacity to provide extended medical care during large-scale combat operations before evacuation.

U.S. Army MEDCoE’s Directorate of Simulation is the U.S. Army’s lead agency in medical modeling and simulation policy and strategy, which supports institutional medical training, professional military education, and operational medical readiness. The directorate also serves as the accreditation agency and proponent for all U.S. Army medical simulation centers, facilities, and activities.

“PCADs provide extended care and enroute care capabilities and capacity to Role 2 medical companies and resuscitative surgical detachments operating forward of brigade combat teams when medical evacuation is delayed or denied,” said Kucia, who is also a certified physician assistant. “Role 2 includes a military hospital or clinic where patients are triaged, and trauma management and resuscitation are continued.”

Resources at Role 2 locations include blood, X-ray, laboratory, dental, combat, and operational stress control, operational public health, and when augmented, physical therapy and optometry and can provide patient care for up to 72 hours. PCADs add capability and capacity when augmenting a Role 2 by performing critical care tasks for very seriously ill patients, enroute critical care, and surgical teams in monitoring post-operative patients.

The exercise’s scenario consisted of large-scale combat operations resulting in a high number of casualties that, at times, overwhelmed medical capabilities and due to the tactical environment, casualties were held for a prolonged period far forward of brigade combat teams before evacuation.

“To analyze medical competencies effectively, medical scenarios have to be as realistic as possible,” said Kucia. “This is why medical modeling and simulation experts from DHA were on-site, ensuring Exercise Northern Strike 2023 was successful, ultimately ensuring the success of future exercises—but more importantly, PCADs can perform their missions successfully when it counts.”

During the exercise, the Army’s Medical Capability Development Integration Directorate assessed if the PCAD’s equipment meets the unique requirements and challenges of this level of care. Additionally, the training of assigned PCAD personnel were evaluated, ensuring the training was sufficient to provide prolonged care, assessing the effectiveness of current training programs, and identifying potential areas for improvement.

“Medical simulations allowed us to truly assess how a PCAD would operate, given high-acuity patients, new medical equipment sets, and a patient flow rate that approximates what we expect in future operating environments,” Kucia said. “Medical simulations crucially support experiments with realistic casualty scenarios. By minimizing artificialities, medical scenarios provide a platform to assess clinical skills, equipment use, team coordination, and medical decision making.”

You also may be interested in...

Article Around MHS
Apr 9, 2024

Combat Medic Embraces the Cool Part of the Army

U.S. Army Spc. Brianna Braham poses for picture

Even though the day’s exercise focuses on the testing of a new tube-launched, optically tracked, wire-guided missile targeting system, Braham, a combat medic assigned to the 2nd Cavalry Regiment’s Quickstrike Troop, believes that every training exercise is an opportunity for self-improvement.

Topic
Mar 19, 2024

Education & Training

Education and training resources for personnel across the Military Health System.

Topic
Mar 18, 2024

Medical Modernization and Simulation Division

The MMSD is the gatekeeper for all medical education and training requests that are submitted for the Education and Training division's review. This responsibility is currently housed within the Defense Medical Modeling and Simulation Office, which is also responsible for coordination of Medical Modeling and Simulation across the MHS.

Article Around MHS
Mar 11, 2024

Expeditionary Medical Facility 150 Alpha Provides Role 3 Medical Capability During 1st Med Bn Marine Corps Combat Readiness Evaluation

Sailors from Expeditionary Medical Facility 150 Alpha receive a simulated patient from 1st Medical Battalion on Feb. 27, 2024, aboard Naval Expeditionary Medical Training Institute, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.  (Photo: Petty Officer 2nd Class Stevon Duren )

Sailors from Expeditionary Medical Facility 150 Alpha provided the Role 3 medical capability during the 1st Medical Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group, Marine Corps Combat Readiness Evaluation from Feb. 26 through March 1, 2024, aboard Naval Expeditionary Medical Training Institute.

Article Around MHS
Mar 4, 2024

METC Educators and USU CAHS Support Enlisted Service Members

An instructor with the Medical Education and Training Campus addresses service members during a classroom session.

The Medical Education and Training Campus is a branch campus of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences College of Allied Health Sciences. Together they enable Army, Air Force, Navy, and Coast Guard students to earn college credits in specific medical specialty training programs during their military enlistment.

Article Around MHS
Dec 5, 2023

U.S. Army Capt. Veronica Wright: A Leader Working to Improve Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Military Health

Walter Reed National Military Medical Center’s U.S. Army Capt. Veronica Wright is paving a commendable path for her military career. Currently in her fourth year of the Combined Internal Medicine and Psychiatry Residency Program, Wright holds not one, but two key roles. She is both the chief resident of her program and also presides as the chairperson of the Graduate Medical Education Committee's Sub-Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, being recognized for the work she's doing. (Photo by Ricardo Reyes-Guevara/Walter Reed National Military Medical Center)

Diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility are values increasingly recognized as crucial in various sectors, including health care education. For Wright, these values are more than just popular buzzwords—they form the foundation of her work. She champions an inclusive approach in health care education to reduce bias, promote fair treatment, and ...

Article Around MHS
Nov 24, 2023

‘People First, Compassion, Servant Leadership, and Genuine Respect for All’ – Retired Sergeant Major Reflects on Career, Value of Veterans in Continued Service

U.S. Army Pvt. Darryl Warren poses for a photo during  basic training in Fort Knox, Kentucky, in 1987. Today, retired U.S. Army command sergeant major Darryl Warren is an operations program analyst with the U.S. Army Medical Materiel Development Activity at Fort Detrick, Maryland, a job he has held since shortly after retiring from the U.S. Army after a 31-year career. (Courtesy Photo)

The U.S. Army Medical Materiel Development Activity is an integral component of the Department of Defense’s medical readiness enterprise. A key to USAMMDA’s success as the DOD’s premier developer of modernized medical devices, treatments, and equipment is the knowledge and experience brought to the table by its many veterans, who work alongside both ...

Skip subpage navigation
Refine your search
Last Updated: October 24, 2023
Follow us on Instagram Follow us on LinkedIn Follow us on Facebook Follow us on X Follow us on YouTube Sign up on GovDelivery