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    Dedicated ANA medics

    Dedicated ANA medics

    Photo By OR-5 Mark Doran | Afghan National Army medics relax before the combined operation by Afghan National...... read more read more



    Story by OR-6 Mark Doran 

    Combined Team Uruzgan

    TARIN KOT, Afghanistan - This fighting season is the last opportunity 4th Brigade medics have to further develop their life-saving skills with ISAF before coalition forces transfer their bases in Uruzgan at the end of this year.

    Battle preparation was in full swing as Afghan National Army’s 4th Brigade, 205th Corps, began preparing for a clearance operation along the Karmisan Valley from August 14 – 18.

    The mission was on.

    Medics checked their ambulances to ensure they were stocked with essential medical stores for their upcoming task.

    This fighting season is the last opportunity 4th Brigade medics have to further develop their life-saving skills with ISAF before coalition forces transfer their bases in Uruzgan at the end of this year.

    There is still work to do.

    The Australian Army’s 2nd Cavalry Regiment Task Force Security Force Assistance Advisory Team is advising 4/205 until the transition to full Afghan independent security.

    Warrant Officer Class Two Aaron Writer, SFAAT medical adviser, said 4/205 medics were motivated and keen to learn.

    “Most of their first aid methods are effective, but the more complex scenarios still require further development and training,” he said.

    “These medics do save lives.

    “In the last three months they have treated and evacuated close to 35 battle casualties with life-threatening wounds.

    “The ANA have conducted effective road evacuations and their medics have successfully kept their wounded alive, in some cases for up to 20 hours, before reaching the Role 2E Medical Facility and advanced care.

    “Abdul” has been an ANA medic for seven years and said he was continuously on the front line during combat missions.

    “I love my country and I am dedicated to help Afghanistan build a secure future,” he said.

    “We have definitely improved our skills as first responders compared to what they were in the last few years.

    “Our junior medics are now trained in the 4th Brigade’s basic medical courses, and some of us are authorized to administer medication.

    “Previously our doctors couldn't ask us to check their patients, but we can now assist with bandaging wounds and providing basic care for our comrades.”

    Literacy is a priority for medics, and only soldiers who can read and write are selected as medics.

    Writer said 4th Brigade soldiers needed more training to retain and improve their first aid skills.

    “We are helping the ANA to develop a short hands-on first aid course for all soldiers and refresher courses for the medics to update their knowledge,” he said.

    “Their medics can administer an intravenous line and use a combat application tourniquet to stop bleeding, but training in anatomy and physiology are areas which require more focus.

    “This will help them understand what internal organs are affected by a gunshot wound to the chest, trace the path of the round and enable them to treat and prioritize casualties efficiently.

    Abdul said it was mainly their experience of being constantly exposed to casualties which had given ANA medics their current skills.

    “We are continuously working on the battlefield,” he said.

    “On a recent clearance operation, we had three ANA casualties who were seriously injured by an improvised explosive device and close to death, but as medics we worked very hard and saved their lives.”

    Writer said the ANA soldiers were fighting for their country and, most importantly, had the support and cooperation of the local population.

    “In a recent IED strike in July, on a car full of civilians, an ANA patrol diverted to the incident and treated the victims.

    “The civilians were evacuated using the Kandahar Air Wing to Kandahar Regional Military Hospital before they were transferred to Kandahar Hospital.”

    NATO has worked closely to mentor the KAW, the Afghan Air Force's southern wing, which is now able to conduct missions on its own in the dangerous regions of Afghanistan.

    Lt. Col. Babri Ziyaratgul, commander for 5th Kandak, 4/205, said the lack of ANSF air support was a major challenge for casualty evacuation.

    “This concerns our soldiers,” he said.

    “Especially when the wounded need to be transported for life-saving medical treatment in Kabul or Kandahar.”

    Writer said there had been more than 10 successful independent aeromedical evacuations conducted in Uruzgan by the KAW. However, he confirmed aircraft were not always available.

    “It is a tough situation, but we need to focus on building sustainable Afghan MEDEVAC solutions.

    “When we are gone, these procedures, not coalition aircraft, will be the difference between life and death for many soldiers.

    “The three recent ANA IED casualties were tended to at the Role 2E medical facility before being sent to the 4/205 Clinic for ongoing treatment, which is a situation many coalition medics would find challenging.

    “I attribute this success to the extra training we have been able to provide the Afghan medics at the Role 2E.”

    “The level of care provided to the ANA soldiers, by ANA soldiers, was outstanding.”



    Date Taken: 08.23.2013
    Date Posted: 08.25.2013 06:51
    Story ID: 112554
    Location: TARIN KOWT, AF 

    Web Views: 96
    Downloads: 0