Artillery medics partner with Afghan Army, train to save lives
June 18, 2012
FORWARD OPERATING BASE FRONTENAC, Afghanistan (June 18, 2012) -- Medics with the Afghan National Army, Medical Platoon, 1-205th Corps and the Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 2nd Battalion, 17th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., conducted medical partnership training at Forward Operating Base Frontenac, Afghanistan, June 11-14.
The training allowed for the medics of both forces to come together and share the skills they use to save lives during combat situations.
"The purpose of this training was to get everyone on the same table," said Pfc. Curtis Sua Fo-a, who serves as a medic with the 2-17 FA. "This allows us to work together with [our Afghan partners] to make sure we are treating and tracking [patients] the same."
The medics spent the three days going over how they react to different scenarios that can occur in a tactical environment.
"The last three days we helped to reinforce [both the Afghan National Army and our] medical skills so that we are able to be more proficient in the field," said Sua Fo-a. "We did this by reinforcing tactical combat casualty field care."
This training proves crucial as the Afghan National Army, or ANA, continue to take the lead in combat operations and begin to operate by themselves.
"It is important that our medics continue to train with [their medics] so they are fully prepared and ready when we take the lead," said Dr. Shir Wali, a 1st Lt. in the ANA who serves as the platoon leader with the Medical Platoon, 1-205th Corps. "This training was good for us and it was very beneficial for our medics."
The training also gave the ANA an opportunity to work with equipment they do not use as often and refresh their skills with the equipment they have.
"The training allowed us to show the supplies that we have and compare them with the supplies the ANA have," said Sua Fo-a.
The ANA medics are authorized many of the supplies U.S. medics have, but those supplies have not been issued yet, added Sua Fo-a.
The training exercise took place to enhance the knowledge of combat casualty care with 1-205th Corps medics, but medics with 2-17 FA saw different approaches to similar scenarios.
"They were extremely eager to learn, and offered us a different perspective by showing us things that I have never thought of," said Sua Fo-a. "They showed me how they would do things that I was like, 'oh that is good. I am going to use that.'"
As American and coalition forces look to end combat operations in Afghanistan, the medics with the ANA are confident they can take the lead and save lives.
"I am confident [and] this training was beneficial to my medics," said Wali. "They are ready to serve and use their abilities to save lives."