FORWARD OPERATING BASE HUNTER, Iraq—Soldiers and non-commissioned officers of 2nd Squadron, 13th Cavalry Regiment Task Force "Saber" partnered with Iraqi security forces to conduct advanced medical training in southern Maysan province.
Elements from the Majaar al Kabir District Police and 1st Battalion, 41st Iraqi Army Brigade participated in combat lifesaver training led by Task Force "Saber" medics, military police and border transition team members.
"This training will save lives, both Iraqi and quite possibly U.S.," said 1st Lt. Keith Chiro, a platoon leader from New Orleans assigned to 2nd Platoon, 57th Military Police Company.
Chiro said the hands-on focus of the training bridges the language gap, resulting in better understanding of medical techniques.
The CLS course consisted of lectures and practical exercises which focused on various techniques practiced by U.S. forces including casualty evaluation, tourniquet application, airway clearing, blunt trauma treatment, splinting, hot and cold weather injury recognition and treatment, intravenous management and shock treatment.
As with any medically orientated class, the largest feeling of anxiety stemmed from the application of IV needles. For most, this was their first experience applying and receiving an IV. Detailed instructions and demonstrations built confidence and trust resulting in numerous Saber medics serving as patients.
ISF trainees demonstrated their medical proficiency in a culminating exercise overseen by the Majaar al Kabir Iraqi police deputy commander and the 1st Bn., 41st Bde. commander.
Certificates of achievement presented by ISF leaders along with members of Task Force Saber concluded the training.
"We couldn't have asked for a better group to work with," said Spc. Allen Steele, a medic from Hartsville, S.C. assigned to 2nd Platoon, 57th MP Co. "In depth questions proved how interested they were in learning about more advanced medical training."
According to instructors, throughout the week ISF displayed the skills and commitment leading to a flawless performance on the final day of instruction.
In preparation for the training, leaders of both the Iraqi army and Iraqi police met with Saber leadership to discuss training needs and interests. Squadron leaders presented a diverse listing of courses centered on broadening ISF capabilities.
"This training was only the beginning of our partnership," said Steele. The Squadron's next step is to plan for "train the trainer" style classes in the future.
Advise and assist partnerships like these pave the way for ISF success. Graduates will now be able to treat anything from routine to life-threatening medical conditions with confidence, benefiting the people of southern Maysan province.
Additionally, improvements of training facilities, including the planned construction of a Joint Training Center located on Forward Operating Base Hunter will facilitate increased capacity and further opportunities for large-scale training events.
As requests for training continue, Task Force Saber is prepared to provide dedicated instructors ready to offer in-depth and capacity building courses.