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Press Release
May 14, 2005
Oregon citizen-soldier and teammate win 'Combat Medic Challenge'
 
FOB WARRIOR, Iraq- The 116th Brigade Combat Team's 145th Support Battalion hosted the "Sidewinder Combat Medic Challenge" to test coalition medics' physical fitness and technical proficiency in a simulated combat environment on Forward Operating Base Warrior April 23.
 
Twenty-two participants from both the U.S. Air Force's 506th Air Expeditionary Group and the 116th BCT competed as two-person teams to complete a series of medical, physical, and soldier tasks as quickly as possible. 
 
"We're not just medics, we're combat medics, and have to be tactically proficient and physically fit to take good medicine to bad places," said Sgt. James Billington, a Task Force 3-116 Armor headquarters company medic. Task Force 3-116 Armor is based out of La Grande, Ore.
 
Billington and his teammate, Staff Sgt. Mike Creeden of TF 1-163 Infantry, set out to show their skills as combat medics by completing a series of challenging events, going head to head with ten other teams.
 
Events included a push-up and sit-up station, road march, a nuclear/biological/chemical (NBC) station, disassembly and assembly of the M16 series rifle, trauma lanes, assembly of a single-channel ground and airborne radio system (SINCGARS), transmission of a nine-line medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) request, loading of casualties into a four-litter ambulance, carrying a simulated patient through a litter obstacle course, and performing a vehicle recovery.
 
"Sgt. Billington and Staff Sgt. Creeden paired and rose above the competition to place first by successfully navigating the course in just one hour and six minutes," said 2nd Lt. Jason Smith, TF 3-116 Armor's medical platoon leader. "They are good examples of the medical professionalism and skill that keeps our soldiers alive on the battlefield."
 
The event was organized by Lt. Col. Colin Miller of 126th Forward Surgical Team. Both he and the 145th Support Battalion's Command Sgt. Maj. Charles Whittier presented the soldiers with awards at the end of the event.
 
While deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom III, the 116th BCT is keeping itself trained and ready as it assists Iraqis in the development of their new nation. The 116th BCT is currently supporting Iraqis in developing their security forces, government, economy and communications.
 
The 116th BCT is comprised of headquarters and staff sections, the 2nd and 3rd Armor Battalions, the 1-148th Field Artillery Battalion, the 1-163rd Mechanized Infantry Battalion, the 145th Support Battalion, the 116th Engineer Battalion, and various intelligence, signal, and specialized units. The 116th BCT is one of several Army National Guard units deployed in support of OIF III.
 
Photos:
 
Casualty.jpg -  Sgt. James Billington (left), a Task Force 3-116 medic from the Oregon National Guard, and Staff Sgt. Mike Creeden (right), a TF 1-163 medic, treat a simulated casualty as part of the "Sidewinder Combat Medic Challenge" April 23 at Forward Operating Base Warrior, Iraq. The duo took first place. (Photo by 2nd Lt. Jason Smith, TF 3-116)
 
Duo.jpg - Sgt. James Billington (left), a Task Force 3-116 medic from the Oregon National Guard, and Staff Sgt. Mike Creeden (right), a TF 1-163 medic, radio in a nine-line medical evacuation request as part of the "Sidewinder Combat Medic Challenge" April 23 at Forward Operating Base Warrior, Iraq. The duo took first place. (Photo by 2nd Lt. Jason Smith, TF 3-116)
 
IV.jpg - Sgt. James Billington, a Task Force 3-116 medic from the Oregon National Guard, prepares to insert an intravenous fluid tube into Staff Sgt. Mike Creeden's arm as part of the "Sidewinder Combat Medic Challenge" April 23 at Forward Operating Base Warrior, Iraq. Creeden is a TF 1-163 medic. The duo took first place. (Photo by 2nd Lt. Jason Smith, TF 3-116)
 
SINCGARS.jpg - After completing the intravenous fluid tube station, Staff Sgt. Mike Creeden (left), a TF 1-163 medic, and Sgt. James Billington (right), a Task Force 3-116 medic from the Oregon National Guard, plan their strategy for the next station at the "Sidewinder Combat Medic Challenge" April 23 at Forward Operating Base Warrior, Iraq. The duo took first place. (Photo by 2nd Lt. Jason Smith, TF 3-116)
 
 
 
 
Contact:
 
CPT Monte Hibbert
116th BCT Public Affairs