CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait - Soldiers from the 77th Sustainment Brigade participated in a medical workshop to help teach the Kuwaiti Land Forces basic life support steps necessary on the battlefield on July 31, 2019.
The workshop, organized by the U.S. Military Hospital - Kuwait, fosters an atmosphere of training, cooperation, and knowledge sharing with a diverse group of medical personnel and the infantry.
"Sharing knowledge with our Kuwait military partners is important because if there is a mass casualty event, sharing our expertise, knowledge and skills increases the number of people that are equipped to handle and care for those that are wounded which increases our scale as medics," said Lt. Col. Richard V. Tea, 77th Sustainment Brigade surgeon.
When not in uniform as an Army reservist, Tea is a physician assistant in cardiac surgery in New Jersey. As the brigade surgeon, Tea is responsible for the medical operations, supplies, and personnel for the entire brigade that spans across the Central Command area of operations.
"As medical personnel, we need partners on and off the battlefield in every aspect," said Tea. "There are times we send our medical personnel to learn about how other countries or military branches operate. Anytime you can knowledge share, you expand your skills and increase your intellectual capital."
The workshop uses the combat lifesaver course as the foundation for the training. A combat lifesaver is an on-the-ground, in the fight battle buddy who is trained to provide lifesaving measures as a secondary mission.
The workshop focused on three specific military first responder steps; hemorrhage control/airway management, the nine-line medevac call, a step by step process for calling a medevac to transport wounded military personnel and the Tactical Combat Casualty Care Card. Called the TC3 card, it's a method for combat lifesavers to document everything they did and assessed while caring for a wounded Soldier. This gives crucial information to the next level care manager.
"The TC3 is extremely important," said Tea. "If someone puts on a tourniquet the next level needs to know the exact time so they can ensure it's not on too long."
The actual knowledge transfer at the workshop was executed primarily through the medics. Medics are the military medical personnel with the responsibility of keeping Soldiers alive during combat operations with their extensive training.
"This is my first deployment and this is probably the coolest thing I've done so far," said Spc. Taylor M. Nowak, 77th Sustainment Brigade combat medic/health care specialist. "I had a chance to speak with local nationals and got to meet medics from other countries."
Nowak, an EMT for New York City Fire Department, is on her first deployment and has been in the Army Reserve for five years.
"I have never left my country so this was certainly eye opening," said Nowak. "Teaching the Kuwaiti military how to provide medical support in a combat environment was amazing. While the language barrier is different, it was just like teaching anyone else, they wanted to be there, they asked great questions and I think they learned a lot."