FORWARD OPERATING BASE PASAB, Afghanistan -- U.S. Army medics have treated many ailments and traumas while stationed at Destroyer Aid Station, Forward Operating Base Pasab, Afghanistan, but one challenge they didn't expect was training and working alongside the Afghan National Army medics.
The 3rd Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, "Gypsy Medics" arrived at FOB Pasab in March to find their aid station attached to a small Afghan National Army aid station.
"At first, we didn't know what they expected of us. So, we had a sit down early on with their physician assistants, doctors and medics and our leadership. They asked us very kindly if we could show them the way and work side-by-side with them," said Staff Sgt. Jonathan Talbot, medical platoon sergeant, 3rd Sqdn., 61st Cav. Reg. "We were a little tentative at first, but we came to realize that … their team was agreeing with ours on patient care and would come to the same conclusions."
Talbot, currently on his third deploy�ment with the brigade, has seen the relationship between the two medical teams grow through training and hands-on work.
"The more we worked together, the more our confidence grew in each other," Talbot said. "It's been a really good working relationship."
This experience is shared at all levels in the aid station.
"We work with the ANA every day. When we receive their trauma (patients) we take it as personal as we do our own, we try to treat them like one of us," said Pfc. Clayton Allen, combat medic, 3rd Sqdn., 61st Cav. Reg. "I enjoy the relationship with our ANA medics. They come in, we teach them, they work with us and it goes back and forth."
With the aid station being the last on a busy route to Kandahar, all degrees of trauma roll into Pasab to be stabilized and moved to the next level of care. The medics here have stabilized more than 70 Afghan trauma patients since their arrival, many with severe injuries.
The aid station has treated more than 500 Soldiers for a variety of ailments and has even stabilized and medically evacuated two military working dogs.
"I've gained a lot of experience and have learned so much," said Allen. "I've (seen) things that a lot of medics don't usually get to do in the Army. It's been very beneficial for me as a medic and my medical training."
The knowledge gained from this deployment will help the next generation of 4th IBCT Soldiers, Talbot said.
"I couldn't be more proud of a group of medics and be more honored to have the privilege to be their platoon sergeant," he said. "They're going to take all this information back. They know what works and what doesn't, they know how to set up equipment to make it work right and they are confident. That confidence from being here is going to pour over onto new medics and they'll be able to mentor a whole new generation."