By Sgt. Cody Harding, USDS Public AffairsMarch 6, 2010
As U.S. forces continue to assume more of a supporting role in Iraq, the Iraqi Department of Border Enforcement is assuming greater responsibility for retaining security and safety along the border with Iran.
The mission can be dangerous, as smugglers attempt to bring weapons and foreign fighters into the country.
Now, with training from the medics of A Troop, 3rd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, the Iraqi border guards from 3rd Battalion, 7th Brigade, DBE, possess skills that could potentially save the lives of themselves or their fellow Soldiers.
The recent training they received on Contingency Operating Location Shocker is similar to training U.S. Soldiers receive during the U.S. Army's Combat Lifesaver course.
Through hands-on demonstrations and presentations, the Iraqis learned multiple first aid procedures, including how to clear an airway, evaluate a casualty and apply pressure dressings and tourniquets to wounds.
Pvt. Alan Murray, a medic attached to A Troop, 3rd Sqdn., 1st Cav. Regt., said that the training with the DBE means that the U.S. forces are taking a less active role while Iraqis assume the mission of security.
Spc. Jonathan Montgomery, a medic stationed on COL Shocker, said that the Iraqi border guards are doing well with the training.
The instructors use visual cues to help overcome the language barrier, he said.
"They grasp the knowledge pretty quickly," said Montgomery. "As long as you can show them how to do it, give them a lot of hands-on, it's a lot easier that way."
Murray, a Houston native, said that the training provides a way to prove his skills both to himself and the Iraqis he is teaching.
"I'm going to make sure that I don't disappoint," he said.
Montgomery, a native of Fort Worth, Texas, feels confident that he can pass along the information to the Iraqis well enough for them to be able to use it if the need arises.
"That's why we focus more on the simple, life-saving stuff," Montgomery said. "So if they forget something else it's fine. As long as they can stop the bleeding, their medic can do the rest."