Combat medics on Fort Hood go to great lengths to prepare for the worst, as they train up to deploy in just a few months.

All week the 1st Medical Brigade has been setting up a mass casualty exercise on post.

Actors and dummies playing soldiers wounded overseas are airlifted via helicopter, then taken to a combat support hospital.

Inside the more than 8,000 square foot tent built in just 36 hours, combat medics, like Specialist Patricia Campos, begin treating patients in pre-op.

"It's giving me the experience of the fastness of everything, how quickly everything has to move, the chaos, and being able to control yourself in that Chaos," Patricia said.

The medical professionals even practice coordinating with military working dogs and their vets.

"And as well from our side, just making sure that we had all of our policies in line, so when the real thing happens, we're prepared and ready to take care of these guys," said veterinarian CPT Brian Farr.

In the operating room, surgical tech SGT Cedric Martin is performing surgery on a mock patient with a broken leg, but he's also teaching based on his real experience in situations just like this, well, sort of like this.

"I sit down, I explain to my techs, when we're doing this type of surgery, there's going to be a lot more blood. I show them pictures. I mentally prepare them for what they're going to see when they go downrange," said Cedric.

The overall idea of the make-shift hospital is to get wounded troops stable enough to be flown to a major hospital.

"To get them home, to save lives, that's the ultimate goal," said Patricia.

So they're going through all the motions to make sure they get it just right.

Over the next several months, the brigade will deploy three groups to both Kuwait and Afghanistan.

Reporter: Sophia Stamas

Photographer: Chris Buford