Assistance team teaches medical fundamentals to new Afghan National Army unit
September 3, 2013
FORWARD OPERATING BASE LINDSEY, Afghanistan -- In a small room residing at Camp Hero near Kandahar, Afghanistan, a group of Afghan soldiers came together in a small bright red-carpeted room to learn the fundamentals of saving each other's lives on the battlefield.
The Afghan National Army is learning all they can about military operations from Security Force Assistance Teams, or SFATs. The partnership continues between SFAT 401, with Afghan's 2nd Mobile Strike Force Brigade, at Forward Operating Base Lindsey, Afghanistan.
The team is in the process of training soldiers with 2nd MSF on medical tasks and how to train other to save lives while being engaged by the enemy.
The brigade is a new addition to the ANA and are in the beginning stages of creating a stand-alone force with the help of U.S. Forces like SFAT 401.
Armed with a projector and training aids, Sgt. Brian Mcintire, a medical advisor with the team and native of Garland, Texas, conducted combat lifesaver training for the soldiers during an instructor-trainer course which will allow them to teach medical classes to other soldiers in their unit.
Mcintire, with the help of an interpreter, is developing a written test, in both Dari (one of the most common languages in Afghanistan) and English, to better spread medical knowledge to the brigade and to help the soldiers retain the information already learned.
The soldiers with 3rd Kandak, 2nd MSF, have become proficient on the medical skills required to save the lives of others while conducting operations in a hostile area.
"The 3rd Kandak is very good," said Mcintire. "Their medics seem to be 'on-point' and they know exactly what to do."
The soldiers with the 2nd MSF utilize a local hospital in Kandahar if they need medical attention, however, they are in the process of establishing their own aid station. The unit was recently given permission and land to build the complex. Also, the unit has been assigned an Afghan physician's assistant who will be arriving in the near future.
First Lt. Stewart Hickey, a health care administrator with the team and native of Bedford, Penn., creates training plans, advises on issue/turn in paperwork for supplies, speaks with the physician's assistant about healthcare improvements, coordinates feedback, handles healthcare administration and assists in patient tracking. He talks with local company commanders with the 2nd MSF about the kinds of medical training their soldiers require and how the team can help facilitate the process of extending a helping hand.
According to Hickey, the Afghan soldiers are ready to learn as much as they can about the medical aspects of combat operations as they go through the process of becoming a more capable unit.
"When we first started coordinating with the medical side of the house, they were extremely excited to do the CLS instructor-trainer course," said Hickey. "They wanted more people in more training and they wanted it longer."
Hickey and other officers are working with Afghan commanders to properly order medical supplies and containers in which to store them. The supplies require a special refrigerated container to be stored in to ensure they do not expire early and can be used when needed for combat care.