KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan - An explosion at an entry control point severely injures two
service members, first responders must react quickly in order to save the lives of the Soldiers.
That is the training scenario that Sgt. James Toney, a health care NCO
with 1st Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat
Team, 4th Infantry Division, played out to begin his tactical combat casualty care training.
The training consisted of three phases: care under fire, tactical field care
and tactical evacuation care, said Toney.
"The primary focus of (the training) is to teach first responders how to
tactically advance up to a casualty, treat them and evacuate them within a tactical situation," he said.
However, the soldiers that Toney and his team are training are not U.S.
Soldiers but NATO service members.
"We have trained over 80 Bulgarian military members since arriving (in)
country," said Toney. "There is a bit of a language barrier but they are eager to learn the material."
During the training, Toney and his Soldiers use simulated casualties with realistic wounds to help make the scenarios as real as possible, said Toney.
"The wounds look realistic and disgusting but it's very helpful for my
soldiers to see," said Bulgarian army 1st Sgt. Nikolov Ivaloyo. "It's important that my soldiers know how to treat every type of wound and to see how it could potentially look, so that if or when something happens it's not a complete shock."
The primary responsibility of Ivaloyo and the rest of the Bulgarian soldiers
on the airfield is to conduct internal patrols within the base and control and monitor who comes in and out of the base by manning entry control points.
"My soldiers have to inspect vehicles that come onto the base and anything could happen during those inspections," said Bulgarian army Command Sgt. Maj. Petar Simeonov. "They need to be prepared to
provide aid to anyone who could possibly get hurt and the (2nd IBCT) medics are ensuring we are ready to do so."
Since arriving to Kandahar Airfield in May, Simeonov said the Soldiers of 1st Bn., 12th Inf. Reg., have been extremely helpful in training his soldiers, and he feels grateful to have knowledgeable instructors like Toney.
"The instructors are always well prepared to teach the class and always
set aside time at the end for any questions my soldiers might have," said Simeonov. "They always go above and beyond toensure we understand the material they are teaching us, which is important to the readiness of our soldiers."
Toney said he enjoys working with coalition forces and feels like he is
contributing to the overall Army mission by helping enhance the capabilities of the NATO forces on the airfield.
"I enjoy training and teaching others,and I've enjoyed having the opportunity to teach our allied forces," said Toney. "I believe that with each group that comes in to train they are understanding more and more the importance of what my Soldiers and I are teaching them."