Jun 28, 2022
NMRTC Bremerton Corpsmen Training for Operational Readiness


With operational readiness the priority of the Navy surgeon general, it’s up to all Navy Medicine Readiness Training Commands to ensure that’s a core mission.

A recent story from Navy Press Office highlighted how one Washington base is preparing for operational readiness with its entire unit. Below is an excerpt from that story.

NMRTC Bremerton has formed a unique partnership to help ensure there’s a ready medical force capable of supporting fleet mission – and medical – readiness.

Under coordination from Cmdr. John M. Miyahara, Pastoral Care department head, NMRTC Bremerton has teamed up with Maritime Expeditionary Security Squadron 11 to temporarily assign hospital corpsmen for operational platform training and familiarization exercises.

Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Don Wilwayco and Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Jose Deras spent several weeks in May with MSRON 11, which operates ashore, at sea, and in harbors, rivers, bays, and littorals of Puget Sound. The squadron conducts maritime security operations by providing port and harbor security for the third largest fleet concentration in the U.S.

In his role as NMRTC Bremerton command/clinical chaplain, Miyahara attests that readiness is a crucial issue based upon the principle of syncing body, mind, and spirit for good health and wellness, as well as building the necessary toughness to wage and sustain a fight.

“Readiness is about resilience. Readiness is about grit. Being in an operational setting helps our corpsmen get into the rhythm and routine of prioritizing readiness in all they do when on the job,” explained Miyahara, citing Adm. Harry B. Harris, former commander of U.S. Pacific Command as a direct influence in understanding the importance of operational readiness.

“We worked under former PACOM Commander Harry Harris and his mantra was, “We are ready to fight tonight.” In order to be able to do that, we need to work on ourselves as much as we do our job skills,” Miyahara related from his duty assignment with Destroyer Squadron 31 out of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

When Miyahara arrived at NMRTC Bremerton, his operational experience and training capability provided a foundation from which to build providing opportunities for Sailors with minimal Navy fleet experience.

“When I got here and took on some training missions I saw we were lacking, especially for new corpsmen, exposure to operational life. I really wanted to find an experience that would help our corpsmen get that sense of operational life,” said Miyahara, who took the initiative and reached out to MSRON 11 leadership requesting to allow corpsmen to join their boat crews for mission mentoring and in turn permit the corpsmen to provide medical training.

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“It’s been a win-win for both commands,” stated Miyahara.

For their part, Wilmayco and Deras provided instruction on self-aid and buddy-aid.

“We assisted their command training team in developing a Tactical Combat Casualty Care program that is applicable for the kind of injuries and casualties a small boat unit could expect during a mission, such as burns, gunshot wounds, and blast injuries. Those are all concerns with Marines, too, but on the small boat, there was medical response training for handling a man-overboard or drowning victim. There’s also needing to know how to recognize and deal with the elements from being out on the open water, such as hypothermia, sun and wind burn, and dehydration,”

“We taught the basics such as placing a tourniquet and managing an airwave,” continued Wilmayco. “We went over MARCH [acronym] to prioritize the casualty evaluation steps; massive hemorrhage, airway, respiration, circulation, head injury, and/or hypothermia. We also worked with their medical team to conduct training in damage resuscitative interventions and casualty evacuation procedures.”

To read the full story from the Navy Press Office, click here.