MAY 6, 2015, SAN ANTONIO (NNS) – Navy Medicine Education and Training Command (NMETC) and Navy Medicine Training Support Center (NMTSC) Sailors manned informational booths at the USAA “Springfest” picnic at the headquarters in San Antonio, May 3 to heighten attendee awareness of Navy Medicine education and training programs.
Among other military displays, the three Navy Medicine booths were NMTSC’s Coalition of Sailors Against Destructive Decisions (CSADD), instructors from NMTSC’s Special Operations Corpsman Preparatory (SOCP) program, and a demonstration from NMETC’s Navy Medicine Modeling and Simulation Training (NMMAST).
Cmdr. David Pedraza of the NMETC Operations Department led NMETC’s team in demonstrating some of the technological advancements in Navy Medicine training, such as a medical simulation training mannequin, to some of the more than 15,000 USAA employees and family members attending.
“We brought out a ‘HAL’ mannequin, which is a full body mannequin, to display it and show everyone some of the training tools we use to help young Sailors, Airmen and Soldiers in their medical training,” he said.
NMETC volunteers showed children and adults how the mannequin, controlled remotely by an iPad, has many human characteristics including the ability to speak, a heartbeat, rising chest and bones inside. They also discussed the advantages of using such a lifelike mannequin in medical training.
Presenters from both NMETC and NMTSC were grateful for the opportunity to promote their programs, which are perhaps not well-known to an audience sometimes only vaguely aware of the Navy’s role in San Antonio, a city where the Army and Air Force have historically dominated any military presence.
“We are raising awareness of what we do, who we are and the impact we have on the special operations community,” said Chief Hospital Corpsman Gary Byrum, who was there to discuss his role as a Special Operations Combatives Program (SOCP) instructor with SOCP.
Through the SOCP program, Byrum helps recruit and train hospital corpsmen, or those still in training, to prepare them for special operations training.
Chief Hospital Corpsman Steven Chartier, who informed people about CSADD, was especially aware of the unique opportunity to strengthen the relationship between the Navy and USAA, a large organization in the community.
“I spoke to a couple representatives from USAA while they were out here about possibly getting together [with CSADD] for future events,” said Chartier. “That would be great.”
Through CSADD, NMTSC staff and students cultivate a healthy environment of community relations and positive activities to prevent Sailors from getting into trouble during off-duty hours. NMTSC’S CSADD Sailors recently received the large group volunteer award from Joint Base San Antonio – Fort Sam Houston for their efforts within the community.
The Navy booths also included handouts and displays from Navy Recruiting District – San Antonio.
“The Navy was well represented,” said Pedraza. “This helped put us in the limelight because people either don’t realize we’re here at all or that we can do our job successfully anywhere, not just on a ship but even here in a landlocked city.”