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When deployed we are also augmented by a Fleet Surgical Team (FST). Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Alan Gragg/Released) Makin Island is the first U. Navy amphibious assault ship built with a hybrid-electric propulsion system.This FST has several medical officers, nurses and corpsmen able to augment our hospital on ship to a Level 3 status with ability to perform surgery and maintain the intensive care unit (ICU). Hermann Gonzalez, center right, surgeon for the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, explains procedures for treating a chest wound during a mass casualty drill aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD 8). During the ship’s maiden deployment from November 2011 to June 2012, the hybrid system saved more than four million gallons of fuel translating to a cost savings of more than million.There are also operational positions available on ships and with the Marines.Having been with a Special Operations Dive Unit previously, my sights were set on getting back into the operational world of the Navy.An IDC is a highly trained senior enlisted that operates independently, many times performing up to the skills of a medical officer.On Makin Island I have a senior chief petty officer who is an IDC as well as a general medical officer, who help tremendously in patient care.During the deployment, the ship made port visits to Singapore, Bahrain, Jordan, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.It has been an intense first three months as SMO aboard Makin Island.
That opportunity presented itself with the leadership role of Senior Medical Officer (SMO) of the large deck amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD 8).
It is a steep learning curve, and the pressure is on.