News: U.S., Thai medical personnel exchange practice
Story by Cpl. James Smith
NAKHON RATCHASIMA, Thailand - Aviation and field medical technicians from Marine Aircraft Group 12, 1st Marine Air Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force, welcomed personnel from Wing One Hospital, Royal Thai Air Force, to the Flight-line Aid Station aboard Wing One Royal Thai Air Force Base, Nakhon Ratchasima, Kingdom of Thailand, Feb. 10 during Exercise Cobra Gold 2014.
CG 14 is a joint, multinational exercise conducted annually in the Kingdom of Thailand aimed at enhancing and increasing multinational interoperability.
The subject matter expert knowledge exchange visit included a tour of the aid station along with a demonstration of equipment that wasn’t familiar to Royal Thai Air Force members.
“We have been meeting with the Royal Thai Air Force medical personnel regularly,” said Chief Petty Officer Joseph Paul, leading chief petty officer with Marine Wing Support Squadron 171. “We wanted to share what we do, how we can function in a field environment and share our military knowledge. Essentially, it’s a way for us to compare what we do to what they do.”
Some of the demonstrations included the contents of a medical technician’s bag, how to use combat gauze and tourniquet and usage of a portable x-ray machine.
“This meeting is good for our nurses because it opens their eyes to see what other countries do with medicine,” said Flight Lt. Voravannee Tulpayon, flight surgeon with Wine One hospital, Royal Thai Air Force. “I was surprised to see the portable x-ray because not a lot of countries have them. It just shows how similar the field of medicine is, but is different at the same time.”
The final portion of the visit led everyone outside to an M997 ambulance where medical personnel discussed the nomenclature of the vehicle and demonstrated how to place a patient in the vehicle.
Although the language barrier in the Kingdom of Thailand can become difficult, it doesn’t stop those who want to learn from each other.
“I enjoyed sharing our cultural differences and learning from each other about how our medical systems are alike and how we can work better together,” said Paul. “This way, if there is an emergency, we are familiar with each other and can work together to make sure patients receive the best care.”
Both groups are slated to see each other again when they work together in the field as they are faced with different scenarios to overcome.