By Capt. Andrew Krause, 2nd HBCT, 1st Inf. Div., MND-BMarch 25, 2009
BAGHDAD - Iraqi and American forces conducted a joint medical training exercise March 5-11 at the Iraqi Army Noncommissioned Officer Academy on Forward Operating Base Justice.
Soldiers from the 299th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Multi-National Division - Baghdad and Military Transition Team Soldiers provided Iraqi Army Soldiers from the 22nd Brigade, 6th IA Division, necessary skills to evaluate and treat a variety of battlefield injuries.
The IA Soldiers are students at the IA NCO Academy and their training consisted of the basic medical skills that all U.S. Soldiers receive during Combat Lifesaver Training, in addition to several advanced medical skills. The training included both classroom and hands-on lane training.
"American and Iraqi Forces continue to partner to achieve tough realistic training that will serve future Iraqi Army NCOs and their Soldiers," said Capt. John Taylor III, commander, Company C, 299th BSB.
As with any training event, the planning phase began several weeks prior to the event. The 6th IA Division and the 22nd Bde., 6th IA Div. planned the curriculum for the course.
Based off the curriculum, instructors taught hemorrhage control, airway management techniques, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, treatment for pneumothorax (collapsed lung), shock control, intravenous therapy, splinting, bandaging, administering injections, evacuation procedures and patient assessment.
Once the content of the training was approved, the 299th BSB and the 22-6 MiTT handled the logistics and communications necessary to conduct the training.
The Soldiers moved training material and personnel to the IA NCO Academy, provided instructors and coordinated facilities to conduct the training and provided interpreters.
"Ultimately, training success or failure is decided upon during the planning phase," said Taylor.
Once the logistics were in place, the training began.
The medical procedures were initially taught in a classroom environment with interpreters communicating the instructions to the Iraqi Soldiers.
The next several days were utilized to reinforce the learning and practice using a hands-on approach. Maximum time was allowed for the hands-on portion of the training to maximize skill acquisition.
Once the IA Soldiers had the basics of the medical tasks they continued to practice until proficient.
The training event culminated on the last day using lane training techniques, where the IA Soldiers were able to put their newly acquired skills into practice. This involved simulating a variety of patient injuries for the Iraqi Army Soldiers to treat.
"This was outstanding training and the 22-6 Bde. Iraqi Army looks forward to more combined coalition training," said Staff. Sgt. James Clayton, senior medic, 22nd Bde., 6th IA Div. MiTT. "It is a very exciting time for the Soldiers as they are able to interact with a proud Iraqi Army. Everyone is doing an outstanding job continuing to improve the situation here in Iraq."