Archive for April 14th, 2020

America’s Fort Hood Soldiers Certify COVID-19 Response Teams!🇺🇸

April 14, 2020

YELLOW RIBBON AMERICA NEWS DESK:

America’s Soldiers are used to functioning as small teams, so the role of a squad leader is integral to a unit’s success. In the fight against COVID-19, small-team leaders are finding themselves faced with a new mission. The U.S. Soldiers of 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team ”Greywolf,” 1st Cavalry Division, at Fort Hood, Texas, have been building and certifying teams responsible for reacting to a positive test for COVID-19 among their ranks. Members of the ”transportation” and ”clean” teams for C Company, 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment recently conducted a battle drill to certify their teams.

”We need to certify our young leaders on their responsibilities,” said Army Capt. Sean Leary, commander of C Company. ”We have assigned responsibility for Team Transport and Team Clean, and this is our opportunity to certify those young leaders and their ability to accomplish their task.”

The effort comprises four teams:

  • Team Trace is made up leaders within the company and battalion, and is responsible for tracing the movements of the infected soldier to identify where hot-spot cleaning needs to occur and soldiers and civilians may need to be tested due to contact with that area or particular soldier.
  • Team Transport is responsible for transporting a positive-test soldier to the isolation barracks if the soldier is in another location, such as a barracks room or at the hospital.
  • Team Clean is responsible for cleaning every identified hot zone where the infected Soldier had been.
  • Team Comply ensures not only that the teams are certified and conducting their tasks to standard, but also ensures that the unit is practicing proper preventive measures to protect the force. The certification begins with the unit being notified that a soldier at the hospital has tested positive for COVID-19 and needs to be transported to the isolation barracks. The transportation team receives a briefing from the operations sergeant major, who also inspects the team to make sure they are in the proper protective gear, which includes outer garments such as wet-weather gear, gloves, eye protection and a mask.

The transportation team travels to the hospital and, through mobile communications, instructs the soldier to load into the back of the Humvee, being sure to avoid contact with the team. During this time, the unit is lining up a room for the soldier at the isolation barracks and takes the infected soldier there.Meanwhile, Team Trace begins to identify everywhere the soldier has recently been, cleaning hot spots, if necessary. In this scenario, Team Clean cleans the infected soldier’s barracks room. Kiracofe said the standard is a minimum contact time of 10 minutes of the proper cleaning solution applied to all areas, including those small enough that a child could fit a pinky finger.

”The purpose of this certification and making sure they get it right is to protect our soldiers and protect the force and ensuring they can then become trainers themselves and train other NCOs of soldiers who join the team,” Leary said. ”We never know who will be impacted.”

Each company in the battalion has two transportation teams with two soldiers per team and two clean teams with 10 soldiers on each team. Once certified, they are then able to train additional soldiers so that teams can switch out personnel as necessary.(Army Capt. Scott Kuhn is assigned to the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division.)

”My job’s important, because I don’t want to get another soldier infected, just as I wouldn’t want one of my loved ones to get infected,” said Army Sgt. Heidi Kiracofe, a squad leader with C Company and team leader for Team Clean. ”If we do our job right the first time, the risk to our formation is lower. Ultimately, whether I know someone or not, we all wear the same uniform, and protecting my brothers and sisters from this enemy is important.”

The certification begins with the unit being notified that a soldier at the hospital has tested positive for COVID-19 and needs to be transported to the isolation barracks. The transportation team receives a briefing from the operations sergeant major, who also inspects the team to make sure they are in the proper protective gear, which includes outer garments such as wet-weather gear, gloves, eye protection and a mask.

The transportation team travels to the hospital and, through mobile communications, instructs the soldier to load into the back of the Humvee, being sure to avoid contact with the team. During this time, the unit is lining up a room for the soldier at the isolation barracks and takes the infected soldier there.

Meanwhile, Team Trace begins to identify everywhere the soldier has recently been, cleaning hot spots, if necessary. In this scenario, Team Clean cleans the infected soldier’s barracks room. Kiracofe said the standard is a minimum contact time of 10 minutes of the proper cleaning solution applied to all areas, including those small enough that a child could fit a pinky finger.

”The purpose of this certification and making sure they get it right is to protect our soldiers and protect the force and ensuring they can then become trainers themselves and train other NCOs of soldiers who join the team,” Leary said. ”We never know who will be impacted.”

Each company in the battalion has two transportation teams with two soldiers per team and two clean teams with 10 soldiers on each team. Once certified, they are then able to train additional soldiers so that teams can switch out personnel as necessary.

(U.S. Army Capt. Scott Kuhn is assigned to the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division.)