HOHENFELS, Germany -- Observer coach/trainers assigned to the Joint Multinational Readiness Center, along with members of the Nebraska and North Dakota Army National Guard, helped train German Bundeswehr Reserve soldiers with various U.S. Army doctrine tasks at the Hohenfels Training Area, July 19, 2018.
Basic first-aid under fire, 9-line medical evacuation training, and improvised explosive device recognition, to list a few, were taught to the Bundeswehr Reserve soldiers.
U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class John Barnes, an aviation medical observer/coach trainer for JMRC's Falcon Team was knee deep in Band Aids, slings, and other first-aid supplies as he taught the basics of treating blunt force trauma and preparing for medical air evacuation.
"This training gives them an idea of how we do things, and we can incorporate their techniques into it as well, which will result in the best outcome for the patient when they get injured," said Barnes. "The treatments and the way we evacuate patients may be just a little different, so it's good to ensure we're all on the same page should the need ever arise."
One of the highlights for many of the Bundeswehr soldiers, however, was physically taking part in the MEDEVAC training where they each took turns being lifted from the ground up to the waiting Helicopter.
Soldiers bundled up the casualty they just treated onto a stretcher, and then successfully fastened him to be hoisted up to the hovering UH-72A Lakota Light Utility Helicopter.
"There's two main challenges we face when working with the US Army," said German Army Master Sgt. Juergen Weiss. "Obviously the language barrier is a challenge, but many of us speak English and we translate to those who cannot. But the other challenge is working with the type of aircraft being used. We typically work with Hueys or Blackhawks, but are now training on the Lakota, so this is really good training."
The 1st Battalion, 376th Aviation Regiment, Nebraska Army National Guard, who is currently participating as key components of Task Force Resolute Lakota, along with members from 1st Battalion, 112th Aviation Regiment, North Dakota Army National Guard, have helicopters at both the Grafenwoehr training area and the Hohenfels training area.
U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer 4 Jeff Caniglia, executive officer with 1-376 Aviation Battalion, recognized the invaluable training opportunity for his pilots and crew members.
"The fact that we get to come to Germany and train here at JMRC is a wonderful opportunity," said Caniglia. "We just don't get this type of diverse training back in the States, but these are our helicopters, which are also used here in Germany. So it's a win-win for us and I think the Bundeswehr Army gets a lot out of it too."
In addition to medical training, Bundeswehr soldiers took turns recognizing improvised explosive devices, and practiced their marksmanship skills with the U.S. Army's electronic Engagement Skills Trainer, which can be described as a giant video game providing practice without the need of live fire training. They also took part in the Call for Fire Trainer Immersive System, which is designed to provide realistic fire training in support of all indirect fire and close air support mission tasks.
U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer 3 Joval Eblen, a pilot observer/coach trainer for JMRC's Falcon Team, pointed out the unique training opportunity for all parties involved.
"This training provides an opportunity for familiarity, multinational interoperability, and it enhances the working relationship with our host nation," said Eblen.