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Bragg Medical Command Practices Trauma Techniques

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FORT BRAGG, N.C. — During times of war, soldiers will be injured or killed. No matter what the terrain, it is vital that quality medical care gets to them.

From dropping Humvees, to setting up a portable hospital in less than an hour, members of the 44th Medical Command at Fort Bragg must be soldiers and health care providers.

The soldiers are likely to set up shop in the middle of mountainous terrain. On Friday, they practiced dropping in large equipment and showcased their capabilities.

Soldiers said that there are greater challenges performing surgeries in the field than at a hospital.

"We have limited resources and have to be resupplied after a certain amount of time. We have the same group of people providing care up to 72 hours," said a member of the 44th.

During exercises Friday, Dr. William Winkenwerder, the assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, visited the drop zone.

"In our current situation in Afghanistan, unfortunately we've had some casualties and deaths. We've also saved people. These capabilities are what allow us to save people and bring them back," he said.

Members of the 44th Medical Command are deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. They say they have already performed life-saving surgeries.

The Forward Surgical Team is just one part of the 44th Medical Command. Other areas include dental and veterinary detachments.


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