BALKH PROVINCE, Afghanistan - Medics from the Afghan National Army's 5th Commando Kandak trained on the proper loading and unloading of casualties onto medical evacuation aircraft in Mazar-E Sharif, Dec. 27.
The commandos partnered with members of the 1st Calvary Combat Aviation Brigade Medical Evacuation crews to complete the training.
The primary focus of the training was properly securing a casualty to the litter and then safely approaching a helicopter to load the patient on the helicopter.
The commandos first practiced with the helicopters parked and engines off. After mastering the basic skills, the helicopter crews started the engines, and with spinning rotors providing a real hazard, the commandos took turns loading the litters again.
"The training is very realistic," commented one commando. Several of the commandos went on to say they felt confident they could load casualties in a real life MEDEVAC situation.
"This is another critical step in allowing Afghan National Security Forces to take control of their own security," said a coalition Special Operations Forces advisor. "It adds a lot of confidence to a soldier knowing that his friends can take care of him if he gets hurt."
In addition to the litter training, the commando medics also performed basic medical tasks including: bandaging a wound and correctly applying tourniquets.