Indiana National Guardsmen, Marines Train to Save Lives

By Master Sgt. Jeff Lowry, Indiana National Guard HeadquartersMay 9, 2024

Indiana National Guard Sgt. 1st Class Throne Martin, a 38th Combat Aviation Brigade crew chief from Shelbyville, Indiana, briefs Marines during medevac training in Lawrence, Indiana, May 4, 2024. (Indiana National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Jeff Lowry)
Indiana National Guard Sgt. 1st Class Throne Martin, a 38th Combat Aviation Brigade crew chief from Shelbyville, Indiana, briefs Marines during medevac training in Lawrence, Indiana, May 4, 2024. (Indiana National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Jeff Lowry) (Photo Credit: Master Sgt. Jeff Lowry) VIEW ORIGINAL

LAWRENCE, Ind. -” This is Flintlock requesting a 9-line medevac.”

So begins the training for Marines to call for a medical evacuation, training to help save lives.

Approximately 120 Marines with the 14th Marine Regiment’s Communications Company participated in daylong training, learning to load, carry and request airlifts for casualties.

“I want Marines to have this experience in a simulated environment,” said Marine Maj. Rob Palumbo, the company commander from Deep River, Connecticut. “When they’re deployed forward, they will have that experience and they will be a better resource for the force.”

To assist in getting that experience, three Indiana National Guard Soldiers with the 38th Combat Aviation Brigade provided airlift capability.

Flying in on a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter adorned with three Red Cross symbols, the crew chief and pilots briefed the Marines on safely moving around and loading patients into the helicopter.

“This is truly what we do when we’re deployed overseas,” said Sgt. 1st Class Thorne Martin, a 38th CAB crew chief and combat veteran from Shelbyville, Indiana. “We don’t just work with other Army units.”

Martin provided instrumental guidance on how casualties should be safely loaded and secured in the Black Hawk.

The Marines also saw the training applicable to real-world, joint scenarios — different military branches working together — that could have lifesaving implications.

“The medevac training, I see this as a great opportunity training with different branches,” said Lance Cpl. Connor Stockton, a 14th Marine Regiment data systems administrator from Fishers, Indiana. “You want to know what you’re doing in a real-world situation. It’s a critical aspect of it.”

That critical aspect is maximizing the “golden hour,” the 60 minutes following battlefield wounds that can be vital to saving someone’s life.

Aside from the indispensable training, the Marines and the Soldiers said they enjoyed working with their sister services in lifesaving techniques.

“It gives me more motivation because this is the real deal,” said Marine Cpl. Sifong Phapinit, a 14th Marine Regiment radio operator from Evansville, Indiana. “This is what I signed up to do. It’s a great opportunity to work with other branches and see their perspective.“

The Indiana National Guard Soldiers agreed.

“I like joint training,” said Chief Warrant Officer 4 Mike Colone, a 38th CAB pilot from Fort Wayne, Indiana. “We don’t get the opportunity very often. I enjoy it. It’s outside the normal training environment, and we can show Marines how we work and train.”

The Marines, who typically train to support other units in their communications needs with radios, satellite dishes and computers, said they appreciated the training outside their normal routine.

“This is probably one of the most fun days I’ve had working in the Marines,” said Sgt. Jacob Coleman, a radio repairman from Harrodsburg, Kentucky. “You see those ads, we’re doing that type of training today. It’s very helpful, learning the different languages and lingo between the Army and Marines. It makes for a smoother overall force.”

That’s what the Marine commander expected.

“This unique experience provides them with something to look forward to outside their job specialities,” said Palumbo. “It inspires them and boosts their morale.”

All from Marines and National Guardsmen practicing, training and working together to help save lives on the battlefield.

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