News: Combat medicine at its finest
By Dr. (Capt.) Joseph May
2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division
FORWARD OPERATING BASE HAMMER, Iraq - During a recent air assault operation in the Diyala province, the 2nd Brigade, 1st Armored Division medical team once again demonstrated its excellence.
The group, which consisted of one physician, three physician assistants, one mental health provider, a preventive medicine officer and numerous skilled combat medics, delivered seamless and exceptional medical care, despite harsh conditions.
Several of the team members flew by helicopter, carrying everything needed to set up a rapid aid station with them. A rapid aid station is able to provide immediate treatment for any injuries sustained during the early phase of an operation.
The remaining members of the medical team moved by ground convoy bringing with them the infrastructure required to establish a robust treatment facility in the middle of an isolated desert. The facility included X-ray capabilities, a limited lab, routine and sick call care and trauma and critical care resuscitation.
The Iron Brigade medics also conducted several cooperative medical engagements within the local community, helping to treat more than 125 Iraqi civilians - most of them children.
For many in this area, this was the first face-to-face encounter with coalition forces. Local citizens were hesitant at first. However, the efforts to improve their health and families were evident, and the Iraqi people came to express great gratitude toward the team.