News: 557th Med. Co. hosts Bulgarian soldiers for Mil-to-Mil
Story by Staff Sgt. Alexander Burnett
BAUMHOLDER, Germany - Soldiers from the 21st Theater Sustainment Command’s 557th Medical Company, 421st Multi-Medical Battalion, 30th Medical Brigade hosted three soldiers from the Bulgarian Army for military-to-military training on Smith Barracks in Baumholder, Germany Feb. 10-14.
The ‘Mil-to-Mil’ training program allows for soldiers from the 21st TSC to partner with military members from allied nations to exchange training practices and operating procedures. The goal of the training was to familiarize the Bulgarians with U.S. procedures for future combined operations, said Spc. Rachael L. Chiarelli, a squad leader assigned to the 557th Med. Co. and a native of Cleveland.
“The three Bulgarian soldiers are a physician’s assistant, a nurse and a senior medic, so they have more medical experience than most of our medics do,” Chiarelli said. “Our goal here is not to teach them how to perform these tasks, but to show them how U.S. Soldiers perform them so we can work together in future operations.”
In the first two days of training, the soldiers from the 557th Med. Co. demonstrated the use of U.S. tourniquets to stop bleeding, the use of U.S. bandages, the procedure for performing a needle-chest decompression, how to call for medical evacuation and how to move a casualty. The Bulgarian soldiers were presented the opportunity to perform each procedure on a medical dummy. The initial portion of training concluded with a trip to the 421st MMB training building, The Viper Pit.
“The Viper Pit is a building where we can conduct in-door combat lifesaver lanes at a fast-paced combat speed,” said Pfc. Travis W. Sinfellow, a combat medic with the 557th Med. Co. and a native of Albany, Ore. “Here we can demonstrate how to provide care to our casualty under stress while maneuvering around obstacles. It shows how we may conduct an operation when deployed.”
The final two days of the visit consisted of training with different aircraft for medical evacuation. The Bulgarian delegation observed and participated in a simulated evacuation using a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter in Landstuhl, Germany Feb. 12. They also trained with members of the Air Force on a C-130 aircraft at Ramstein Air Base, Feb. 13.
The Bulgarian medical soldiers departed Germany, Feb. 14, and all hailed the visit as a resounding success.
“This training was very thorough and interesting for us,” said Bulgarian Sgt. Maj. Teodora Kodzhabasheva. “In the future, if our countries work together in operations it will be easier to communicate and understand what is happening.”