Navy Medicine Operational Training Center Continues Preparing Sailors, Officers for Fleet-Wide Duties

By Navy Medicine Operational Training Center Public Affairs 

With the largest throughput of personnel trained annually under the Navy Medicine enterprise and an impact felt on, above and under the water, one Navy Medicine training facility ensures service members are trained and ready for combat wherever it occurs…the Navy Medicine Operational Training Center. 

Located aboard Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola – the cradle of Naval Aviation – the Navy Medicine Operational Training Center (NMOTC) has been a NAS Pensacola mainstay for nearly 75 years, since a 1939 amendment to the base’s Medical Department began inclusion of Naval Flight Surgeon Training in the curriculum.

Navy Medicine Operational Training Center (NMOTC) Commanding Officer Capt. James Norton addresses nearly 100 Independent Duty Corpsmen (IDC) students during an open forum discussion Oct. 30 at the Surface Warfare Medical Institute (SWMI). Norton visited SWMI as part of a tour of the west coast commands which fall under the NMOTC area of responsibility. SWMI reports to the Navy Medicine Operational Training Center which in turn reports to NMETC. (Photo courtesy of NMOTC)
Navy Medicine Operational Training Center (NMOTC) Commanding
Officer Capt. James Norton addresses nearly 100 Independent Duty Corpsmen
(IDC) students during an open forum discussion at the Surface
Warfare Medical Institute (SWMI). Norton visited SWMI as part of a tour of
the west coast commands which fall under the NMOTC area of responsibility.
SWMI reports to the Navy Medicine Operational Training Center which in turn
reports to NMETC.
(Photo courtesy of NMOTC)

From here, the basis of NMOTC was formed: to provide operational medicine and aviation survival training, and become the recognized global leaders in operational medicine, both innovative and responsive to the challenges of the warfighter.

That mission and vision, a testament to Navy Medicine’s storied history, rings even more true today – as NAS Pensacola celebrates its Centennial as a facility, every Naval Aviator, Independent Duty Corpsman (IDC) and a host of other rating specialties and commissioned designations will continue to receive instruction through one of NMOTC’s more than 65 courses at 60 continental United States facilities in 18 locations.

More than 23,000 U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, Army, Coast Guard, Air Force and international students receive instruction at an NMOTC facility annually, something NMOTC Executive Officer Capt. Kris Belland, MC, says continues to ensure fleet-wide success in operations around the world.

“NMOTC continues to provide unique and specialized medical training to Fleet Operators that serve in the air, on and below the water, from the Fleet Marine Force to Navy SEALs to every fleet in the United States Navy.”

NMOTC represents the leadership element of its numerous detachments, establishing policy, training guidelines and curriculum development for the nearly 250 individuals staffing its various facilities. Belland said the herculean effort of maintaining this Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (BUMED) education and training pipeline is something the NMOTC staff has historically maintained, despite the geographic distance between training facilities.

“We have 15 detachments from Groton (Conn.) to San Diego to Pensacola that are spread across the United States in fleet concentration areas,” he said.

NMOTC areas of operation are as diverse as the courses offered; the Naval Undersea Medical Institute (NUMI) in Groton, Conn.; the Naval Special Operations Medical Institute (NSOMI) in Ft. Bragg, N.C.; the Surface Warfare Medical Institute (SWMI) in San Diego; the Naval Expeditionary Medical Training Institute (NEMTI) at Camp Pendleton, Calif.; and the Naval Aviation Medicine Institute (NAMI) and the Naval Survival Training Institute (NSTI) in Pensacola, Fla., with oversight of eight Aviation Survival Training Centers located on the East, West and Gulf Coasts. Each of these commands report to NMOTC, and several of these Echelon Four commands have subordinate commands reporting to them.

Naval Aerospace Medical Institute (NAMI) Flight Surgeon Lt. Cmdr. Charles Johnson (left) provides Student Flight Surgeon Lt. John Jackson feedback during an Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) block of instruction at NAMI in Pensacola, Fla. The ACLS is an American Heart Association-credentialed course which Navy Medicine deployers are required to take. (Photo courtesy of NMOTC)
Naval Aerospace Medical Institute (NAMI) Flight Surgeon Lt. Cmdr. Charles Johnson (left) provides Student Flight Surgeon Lt. John Jackson feedback during an Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) block of instruction at NAMI in Pensacola, Fla. The ACLS is an American Heart Association-credentialed course which Navy Medicine deployers are required to take. (Photo courtesy of NMOTC)

NMOTC Staff Education and Training (SEAT) Leading Petty Officer Hospital Corpsman 1st Class (FMF) Jeffrey Casady said working at a staff headquarters provides a unique insight into the training pipeline, something he feels is rewarding.

“Coordinating staff training across our various detachments can be challenging,” he said. “But knowing our instructors and providers are current on all their qualifications and certifications underscores the Navy Medicine mission of saving lives.”

Belland said NMOTC’s focus is directly representative of fleet requirements; the Navy Medicine Operational Training Center is centered fully on ensuring the men and women participating in its courses at whatever location are qualified, ready and capable of meeting their command’s, BUMED’s and the Navy’s mission in any environment, on any platform and in any area around the world.

“NMOTC makes Flight Surgeons, Diving Medical Officers, Aviation Physiologists, Aviation Experimental Psychologists, Aviation Optometrists, Independent Duty Corpsmen, Aviation Physiology Technicians, Aviation Technicians, and Special Operations Medics to name a few of our graduates, as well as providing EMF / Trauma training (NEMTI/NTTC), and survival physiology training for all Navy and Marine Corps aviators and aircrew,” Belland said.

NMOTC reports to Navy Medicine Education and Training Command (NMETC). NMETC manages Navy Medicine’s formal enlisted and officer education and training programs, medical operational training for medical and medical support personnel deploying worldwide, and training that prepares aviators and flight crews to survive in land and water mishaps.

NMOTC and NMETC are part of the Navy Medicine team, a global health care network of Navy medical professionals around the world who provide high-quality health care to eligible beneficiaries. Navy Medicine personnel deploy with Sailors and Marines worldwide, providing critical mission support aboard ships, in the air, under the sea and on the battlefield.