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Military Medical Providers Augment Health Services at Fort Belknap


Innovative Readiness Training (IRT) Walking Shield took place from August 7-18, 2023, where military members collaborated with Indian Health Services to provide additional medical support at the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation in Harlem, MT. The mission aimed to enhance the healthcare facilities at the Fort Belknap Agency Health Center and the Hays Health Center, in response to a request made by community leaders.

Support and Services Provided

Multiple military units, including the Montana Medical Detachment, Arizona Army National Guard and Medical Detachment, Army Reserve, and New Mexico Air National Guard, contributed to the mission. They brought veterinarians, pharmacy, radiology, and lab technicians, dentists, IT and admin support personnel, and medical providers to conduct wellness exams, sports physicals, and outpatient care.

During the mission, the medical teams served a total of 71 dental patients and provided medical consultations to over 400 individuals. Additionally, they partnered with Indian Health Services and Tribal Health Services to organize six health fairs. These health fairs offered various services such as height/weight, blood pressure, and blood glucose level checks, childrenÔÇÖs immunizations, and connecting community members with resources for substance abuse, disease prevention, and STI prevention.

Importance of Existing Resources

The primary goal of the mission was to connect members of the Fort Belknap community with the available local resources. Tech Sgt. Benjamin Bernard, the health fair non-commissioned officer in charge, emphasized the importance of utilizing existing resources. It allowed community members to receive necessary medical attention and support without having to travel elsewhere.

24-Hour Ride-Along Service

Military medics teamed up with the Fort Belknap Emergency Services ambulance team to provide round-the-clock ride-along service. Considering the remote location of the reservation and the limited resources available, this experience simulated the challenges that could be faced in a deployed environment. The mission aimed to provide valuable training to younger medics and enhance their ability to provide effective healthcare with limited resources.

Real-World Training and Public Health Engagement

Medics set up an aid station at the Hays Pow Wow and provided first aid and emergency services. They successfully evacuated an elder with chest pain and a person with a possible hip fracture after falling from a horse. This experience allowed the medics to train in a real-world, military setting, which involved improvisation and working with limited facilities.

In addition to human healthcare, veterinary detachments from the Army Reserve partnered with a local non-profit organization called RezQ Dogs. They conducted public health engagements focused on spay/neuter programs, parasite control, wellness, and deworming. The collaboration with RezQ Dogs provided essential equipment and supplies for the clinics.

The Role of AI legalese decoder

AI legalese decoder can greatly assist in situations like the one at Fort Belknap. As military medical providers and other healthcare professionals worked with Indian Health Services and community leaders, legal documents and regulations were involved. The AI legalese decoder can help decipher complex legal language, ensuring that all parties understand their rights, responsibilities, and obligations. It can simplify legal jargon, making it more accessible and comprehensible to both medical and non-legal personnel involved in such missions. This tool can reduce confusion, increase efficiency, and foster clearer communication between different stakeholders.


The collaboration between military medical providers and Indian Health Services at the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation was highly successful in augmenting health services for the community. Through the IRT Walking Shield mission, the medical teams provided a range of services, connected community members with existing resources, and conducted valuable real-world training. With the support of organizations like RezQ Dogs, the mission addressed not only human healthcare but also engaged in public health initiatives. Technologies like the AI legalese decoder can further enhance the efficiency and clarity of communication in such endeavors.

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