U.S. Navy corpsmen heading into combat are honing skills that could save their lives and the lives of their comrades thanks to a Hollywood movie set located among the palm trees and sunshine of San Diego.
At Stu Segall productions in Kearny Mesa, the world of combat comes alive for those preparing for it.
The environment is intense from gunfire and explosions to real amputees playing the roles of injured Marines.
There are even special effects. A special medical suit allows corpsmen to perform real procedures on real people.
At Strategic Operations the directors or instructors are senior corpsmen who've done multiple combat tours.
The stars or students are corpsmen like HM3 Shane Faulker who is learning skills he’ll need to help the wounded on the battlefield.
Faulkner is approaching his first deployment where he'll serve alongside Marines
“It's so easy to do your assessment and do what you need to do like in a calm area but once you get thrown out in it you're just like ‘Oh Wow,’” Faulkner said.
Being able to function efficiently under real combat pressure is what's being tested in this recreation of urban warfare.
“We want to get them under stress under pressure get them in a scenario where they're not functioning at 100 percent so we can see how the students react," HM2 Jason Mitchell said.
The wounds and blood are make-up, and the injured are just actors but Kit Lavell, Executive Vice President of Strategic Operations, the experience is very real.
“It gives the opportunity for the first responders//to actually see something that they would not normally see unit they got in combat," Lavell said.
Those who've been there, say it's the best way to train for the reality of combat.
"In real life what's going to happen is it's going to be their best friend lying on the ground," Mitchell said.
Strategic Operations says that even as the combat mission in Afghanistan comes to a close, they plan to continue providing what they call "hyper-realistic" training
They say it will stay relevant not just for the military but for law enforcement and other first responders.