By 2nd Lt. Josiah Metzger, 1nd AAB PAO, 1st Cav. Div., USD-NAugust 22, 2011
JOINT BASE BALAD, Iraq, Aug. 22, 2011 -- Soldiers with 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, U.S. Division-North, trained Iraqi Army soldiers on various medical tasks to help ensure they have the knowledge and capability to take care of injured comrades.
Capt. David Marcoux, physician assistant for "Red Dragons," and a team of medics traveled to 4th Battalion, 17th Iraqi Army Brigade's compound and conducted medical training exercises.
The instruction ranged from evaluation and treatment of specific injuries, to advanced subjects such as pulmonary systems and orthopedics, he explained.
Conducting hands-on training is very important to the Iraqis since they do not have many live-action training scenarios where they can hone and practice their medical skills, Marcoux said.
Sick call provides the best training opportunity for the Iraqi medics because it is a time when sick soldiers or those with minor injuries can be treated by their medics, said Marcoux.
When U.S. medical personnel were present for Iraqi Army, or IA, sick call hours, they provided direct oversight, by coaching and mentoring the Iraqi doctors and medics as they treat patients, continued Marcoux.
Red Dragon medics also instructed Iraqis on how to best control and expedite the flow of patients during hours of operation, as well as proper documentation on a patient's illness, injury history and prescriptions.
In addition to training their IA counterparts, the Red Dragons have also helped them outfit their clinic.
"Last deployment, this Iraqi clinic had barely anything -- no chairs for the medics to work out of, no stretchers with which to load and attend patients, barely any medical equipment, and barely enough supplies to patch up minor to moderate wounds," said Staff Sgt. Richard Tyree, the treatment noncommissioned officer in-charge for 3rd Bn., 82nd FA Regt. "Thanks to the efforts of our battalion, and the one we replaced, the clinic is now much more operational."
With Iraqi Security Forces firmly in the lead of combat operations, IA soldiers with the 4th Bn., 17th IA Bde., can enter the battlefield knowing their medics and doctors have extensively trained with their U.S. counterparts, and that they have a fully functional clinic to return to if they get injured.