By Sgt. 1st Class Jimmy Moore, 4-1 ArmoredApril 13, 2010
A few hundred meters from the Iran-Iraq border, sentries from the Iraqi Department of Border Enforcement conducted medical evacuation training with U.S. Advisors attached to 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division.
U.S. Border Transition Team Phoenix conducted the crucial training at Joint Security Station Chilat - where the U.S. and Iraqi forces work and live side-by-side - at the request of the 11th Bde., DBE, commander. Successful medical evacuation can save lives for soldiers on the battlefield or at the scene of an accident, and no place is the importance of such self-reliance more clear than at the austere and isolated border fort in northern Maysan Province.
To that end, members of BTT Phoenix and the flight crew and medics of Company C, 3rd Battalion, 238th Aviation Regiment, assisted their Iraqi medical partners by providing basic MEDEVAC training to members of the 2nd and 3rd Battalions, 11th Bde., DBE.
Sgt. 1st Class Jimmy Moore, BTT Phoenix medic and a native of Houston, Texas, assisted in the training of several techniques to the Iraqi's, including 9-line MEDEVAC transmission, litter carries and improvised litter construction.
Moore, a veteran of multiple combat tours, emphasized the importance of remaining calm during emergency situations.
One of the main training objectives was to familiarize Iraqi DBE soldiers with both hot and cold helicopter loading procedures, so that the first time they are exposed to working under a hot rotor system is not in combat.
This training opportunity also gave the DBE a chance to learn verbal commands and hand-and-arm signals. This training is very important because normal communication is not possible under a turning rotor system.
The UH-60 Black Hawk MEDEVAC procedures are much the same as the procedures for the Iraqi Air Force's UH-1 helicopter.
"The exercise covered various facets of MEDEVAC procedures. The aviation crew assisted them on how to set up landing zones, guide the helicopters in, and how to load patients, but the Iraqi's lead the training," said Staff Sgt. Kevin Ferrell, a flight medic with Co. C, 3rd Bn., 238th Aviation Regt.
Maj. Dante Antonelli, commander of BTT Phoenix, praised the aviators for making the training a valuable experience.
"The MEDEVAC crew supported us completely, and together, we are committed to continuously trying to professionalize the force in Iraq," he said.
The 2nd and 3rd Bns. were very pleased with the training. The best part of the MEDEVAC training, however, was the fact that Iraqi medics Salah and Ali, who recently graduated from the Ministry of Defense Medical Train-the-Trainer Course in Taji, Iraq, were training their own soldiers with minimal help from U.S. forces.