Story by MCCS Jeffrey Pierce, 22 NCR Public Affairs Officer
HELL, Norway – Chief Hospital Corpsman Michael Winkle, 22 Naval Construction Regiment’s (NCR) Senior Medical Department Representative has led the way for medical support on Camp Frigaard, Norway during Exercise Trident Juncture 18.
As Camp Frigaard’s only independent duty corpsman (IDC), Winkle has been instrumental in providing ongoing training for Navy Corpsman and Norwegian medevac platoons.
Since his arrival on Camp Frigaard, Winkle has supervised sick call at the consolidated aid station (CAS). He has used this opportunity to train junior corpsman on proper sick call procedures and to increase their knowledge of specific medications and what they do.
According to Hospitalman John Song, attached to Combat Logistics Battalion 251, Winkle’s knowledge and mentorship really stood out.
“He has truly mentored me and the other corpsman working in the CAS. He has taught all of us how to effectively run sick call to maximize patient care,” Song said. “Most of my fellow Navy Corpsman want to become IDCs. He took the time not only to explain to us, but actually show us how the role of an IDC in a clinical environment differs greatly from their role in an operational environment.”
“Overall, it’s been a phenomenal experience. It’s not often you find someone who is so passionate about sharing their knowledge to make you better at what you do.” Song said.
This is what Winkle loves to do.
“I love training and increasing the baseline level of knowledge of junior corpsman for when they have to operate independently,” Winkle said.
He also led integrated field training with corpsman and a Norwegian medevac platoon. According to Winkle, the Norwegian medevac platoons do not practice point of injury care. They wait for the scene to be cleared and then they focus on care enroute to a higher echelon medical facility.
Lt. Paul See, attached to the Norwegian Combat Services and Support Battalion’s Medical Evacuation Platoon, found the training impressive.
“Personally, I have learned a lot in the time we’ve spent together,” said See. “I’m really impressed with the way the Navy trains their personnel and the level of knowledge your individual corpsman has. I can positively say that these days we spent with your corpsman will definitely affect the way we train in the future. For me, this is the main purpose of integration.”
Winkle found the training beneficial for both services.
“Seeing how the Norwegian medevac platoons are set up and how they operate was an amazing experience, Winkle said. “Even though we operate differently, we were able to integrate seamlessly to perform our mission of saving lives.”
According to Lt. Cmdr. Joseph Moore, CAS Surgeon for Camp Frigaard, Winkle’s contribution cannot be overstated.
“HMC Winkle has shouldered a great deal of the workload here at the CAS. He brought additional resources and consumables which helped tremendously,” Moore said. “Most importantly, he brought operational knowledge and experience to pass down to his inexperienced medical officers and corpsman. I have all the book knowledge in the world, however, HMC Winkle has a great deal of experience operating in austere environments that we don’t. Fortunately for us, he has shared his vast knowledge which he attained by doing.”
For more information on Trident Juncture 18, go to: https://www.dvidshub.net/feature/TridentJuncture18