By 3d Sustainment Command Expeditionary Public AffairsJuly 14, 2009
CONTIGENCY OPERATING BASE ADDER, Iraq - An ongoing Sustainer partnership provided combat life saver skills to the Iraqi Army during a five day training course here June 15 - 19.
Medics from the 287th Sustainment Brigade and 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division partnered to provide CLS training to four medics from the Iraqi Army 10th Special Forces Commando Battalion.
The goal was to conduct a "train the trainer" course so the IA medics could return to their units and train their own Soldiers on CLS skills after the responsible drawdown of Coalition forces.
"Now that we have four trained medics they can start training their own medics and eventually provide CLS training for their entire IA company," said Sgt. 1st Class Richard B. Howard, a medic on the mobile transition team, 4th BCT, 1st Armd. Div.
The tasks the medics taught are not tasks that can be learned overnight, said Howard. The team had to determine how to show the IA medics what American Army medics do so they can apply it in a way that works best with the IA, said the resident of San Antonio.
"The training is important because Coalition forces are not going to be in Iraq forever," Howard said. "The IA is taking the lead while my team is taking the backseat more every day."
CLS training is used to train Coalition Soldiers to provide immediate assistance on the battlefield; however, the skills can apply to Soldiers in non-combat situations. The students were taught various techniques to treat and stabilize injuries related to combat, to include, blast injury, amputation, severe bleeding, penetrating chest injuries, simple airway management and evacuation techniques.
The CLS training the IA medics received is the same training American Soldiers receive, said Staff Sgt. Melissa M. Franz, warrior medical training center noncommissioned officer in charge, 287th Sust. Bde.
Members of a Military Transition Team went through her training and asked if they could send Iraqi Soldiers through it also, she said.
"I have limited resources to train the Iraqis so I asked to partner with the 287th because they have a great training center," Howard said. "It was a perfect partnership."
The 287th Sust. Bde. provided practice mannequins, first aid materiel, teaching supplies and instructor support.
"We try to make the CLS realistic by setting up CLS lanes using training moulage like fake blood," said Franz, a resident Newton, Kan.
Mutman Kahoi, an IA platoon sergeant said he liked learning how to treat and then evacuate the casualty. He said in the future he would like more classes from Coalition forces.
"They (IA) needs to continue to train with Coalition forces because I enjoy the different aspects of training their military brings," Kahoi said.
The language barrier is the biggest challenge but it did not limit the learning, Franz said.
"The Iraqis are picking the training up really good. Instructions are given in English and then translated to Arabic," she said. "They are picking up the skills quickly."
Howard said the training was a great success and he hopes to work with the 287th Sust. Bde. again to provide further training the Iraqis.
"I love to train. I love being a medic," Howard said. "The interaction with the IA and being able to take different resources from the 287th Sust. Bde and the 4 BCT, 1st Armd. Div. to train has been a great experience."