By Spc. Dustin Gautney, 2nd BCT Public AffairsMarch 19, 2009
REPUBLIC OF KOREA - The percussion of enemy weapons fire filled the air as smoke passed by overhead; the scene grew quiet as the only other sounds were cries for help, all seemed lost until a fellow Soldier rushed to a wounded Soldier's side and uttered, "You're going to be ok."
This scenario could be lifted from the battlefield or even found in a movie; however, for the Soldiers of 1st Battalion, 64th Armor, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, it was part of the combat life-saving training held at Rodriguez Live Fire Complex during the Desert Rogues deployment to the Republic of Korea, March 11.
The deployment to the Republic of Korea was part of Foal Eagle, an annual joint and combined military training exercise with Republic of Korea military forces.
"Every Soldier learns basic combat life-saving skills, which are critical to saving lives on the battlefield," said 1st Lt. Jeffrey Biddulph, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1/64 Armor, 2nd BCT.
The first phase of the training took place in the Rodriquez Live Fire Complex's massive simulated urban environment.
Soldiers were made aware that their mission was to tactically move through the village while under enemy fire and locate the wounded Soldiers. Upon locating the wounded Soldiers, perform immediate life-saving techniques, Biddulph said.
"Soldiers had to learn to assess the situation quickly, and most importantly stop the bleeding of wounded Soldiers on sight, and then move the patient to a secure location to assess the patient further," said Biddulph.
Once immediate care was rendered, Soldiers tactically moved the patients to a secure location and further assessed and treated the wounded Soldiers.
While in the secure location, Soldiers called for a medical evacuation to assist in moving the patients.
The scenario was designed to heighten Soldiers stress levels, including constant attacks from enemy fire and smoke Biddulph said.
"Once the evacuation team had arrived we assessed the Soldiers how well the Soldiers handled life-saving skills, to include pull, drag and litter carry techniques and reinforced tactical ground team work," said Biddulph.
The second phase of the training took place inside the Medical Training Simulation Center, which focused on the Soldiers' ability to render medical aid in a high stress environment.
Soldiers rendered aid to highly advanced medical mannequins that breathe, blink, and bleed from wounds and even react to medications. As the Soldiers worked, sounds of loud music, strobe lights and the constant yelling of medical assistants furthered the experience to place the Soldiers into the fog of war, Biddulph said.
"It really gets your adrenaline going," said Spc. James Ferguson, Forward Support Company, 1/64 Armor. "It was really lifelike. The medics definitely kept you on your toes."
Staff Sergeant Norris Roberts, FSC, 1/64 Armor, agreed. "This is some high-speed training. It is incredibly intense; this is something that every Soldier needs."