VAERNES, 17, NORWAY
Author’s note: This is the first part of a three-part series covering the integration of 2nd Supply Battalion and Norwegian Forces during Cold Response 2014. Part 1 covers joint training of medical personnel.
VAERNES, Norway - Navy corpsmen with the reduced and reinforced 2nd Supply Battalion, Combat Logistics Regiment 25, 2nd Marine Logistics Group trained with doctors, nurses and medics with Joint Medical Task Force, Host Nation Support Battalion to share experiences and knowledge in preparation for Cold Response 2014.
The joint training included classes, practical application and an opportunity to hone marksmanship skills with a pistol range in order to improve international relations and interoperability between United States and Norwegian medical personnel.
“The idea was to get the U.S. Navy corpsmen a better picture of how we train our soldiers on the basics, and … get some experience from how [the corpsmen] train,” said 2nd Lt. Andreas K. Hansen, a Steinkjer, Norway, native and squad leader with the JMTF. “When the corpsmen were attending classes, we tried to include them as well as we could so that they could feel as though they were part of the medical staff.”
Medical personnel from the two nations spent time learning from each other in classes, on the shooting range and conducting practical application exercises. While the informational slides during classes – which covered airway, breathing and circulation injuries, and cold-weather hazards – were written in Norwegian, the instructors accommodated the corpsmen whenever they could.
“There was definitely a bit of a language barrier, but when it comes down to it, everybody was really friendly,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Adam J. Voegtle, a Belleville, Ill., native and corpsman with 2nd Supply Bn. “They’re really polite people and they’re willing to do whatever they can to help us understand them. But no matter what nationality you are, it’s the medical field, so everyone can work off each other just by what they’re doing.”
The JMTF officers and corpsmen went to the indoor firing range in Vaernes to practice their skills with Glock P-80s before conducting exercises in vehicle evacuations with simulated gunshot, chest pain and car crash casualty assessments and ambulance drills.
“We had three different checkpoints, and we were rotating around the different assignments,” said 2nd Lt. Ida K. Vihovde, a Lillehammer, Norway, native and squad leader with JMTF. “We would do the drill, put the patients in an ambulance and drive around a little with one of [the corpsmen] in the back, watching the vital signs over a long period of time.”
The majority of the Norwegian medical officers are reservists and operate in the medical field during their day jobs, which provide them with skills not taught in the military.
“It was a learning experience for me,” said Vihovde. “I don’t have any medical background except some extended first aid. I have a lot to learn from the group.”
The sailors are scheduled to continue their work with Norwegian doctors, nurses and medics during Cold Response to gain a greater appreciation for each nation’s medical techniques and to increase interoperability between the countries while building operational management skills.
“They’re really trying to stress leadership, so when they actually get with their guys they can manage them and control scenes,” said Voegtle. “I am excited to see what they have set up, and to see how they operate in military scenarios because they’re mostly civilians who were called back to active duty just for Cold Response.”
||VAERNES, 17, NO
||LILLEHAMMER, 5, NO
||OSLO, 3, NO
||STEINKJER, 17, NO
||BELLEVILLE, IL, US
||MILILANI, HI, US
This work, Cold calculations: 2nd Supply Bn. prepares for Arctic training part 1, by Cpl Sullivan Laramie, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.