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    Soldiers stay on the pulse of readiness and proficiency

    Soldiers stay on the pulse of readiness and proficiency

    Photo By Spc. Jacqueline Dowland | Pfc. Dominique Gray, an infantryman assigned to Destined Company, 2nd Battalion, 503rd...... read more read more

    VORU, Estonia- At times, trying to learn a new skill can be an intimidating endeavor, yet with practice, the uneasiness of the process blossoms into confidence. Learning new skills and procedures that one can follow to save the life of the Soldier next to them may prove invaluable.

    Soldiers assigned to Destined Company, 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade, brushed up on critical medical procedures during a combat lifesaver course in Voru, Estonia, September 7-8, as part of Swift Bayonet, a training exercise that is part of Operation Atlantic Resolve. The hands-on practical exercises ensured confidence and proficiency in life-saving measures to treat casualties in real-world scenarios.

    "The three main things that I'll be teaching them to control is massive hemorrhaging from extremities, nasopharyngeal tube insertion, and clearing of airways," said the class instructor, Pfc. Justin D. Huh, a combat medic assigned to Destined Company, and a native of Los Angeles, California.

    The lifesaving lessons extended beyond mundane classroom instruction as Soldiers experienced valuable hands-on practice on one another.

    "Instead of just sitting in the classroom the whole time, hands-on practice allows for more muscle memory," said Huh. "I want each Soldier to be confident and be able to do what they are taught medically so they can save their battle buddies if needed."

    The success of Operation Atlantic Resolve relies on training exercises to hone and maintain the basic Soldiering skills required for all NATO allies involved to be able to fight at a moment's notice if the need arises.

    Swift Bayonet allowed the Soldiers the opportunity to try first-hand medical procedures they'd only heard or read about before, further ensuring their ability to be members of a proficiently trained and competent force at all times.

    "It's really useful to do a refresher combat lifesaver course like this because every time we do it we learn a little more and get to try new things," said Pfc. Dominique Gray, an infantryman assigned to Destined Company, and a native of Las Vegas. "It's like re-reading a book, you pick up on things the second time that you didn't pick up the first time."

    Though the thought of having to insert intravenous fluid or a breathing tube into a battle buddy may seem a daunting task to Soldiers who have only watched it done to others, the Soldiers learned that first-hand practice leads to confidence.

    This reassurance led to new-found self-assuredness in crucial tasks that had previously seemed intimidating. A capable and confident Soldier on the battlefield can potentially save the life of his brother-or-sister-in-arms in the critical moments after a life-threatening injury occurs.

    "Today, I got to try inserting an IV [intravenous] for the first time," said Gray. "I missed a few veins the first time I tried it, but it felt great to finally get it."

    Amid rolls of cast-aside bandages and tourniquets, stood the Soldiers smiling confidently as they shared with one another the new-found skills acquired that day. Each Soldier in the class now has the knowledge and self-assured ability to further contribute to the strong alliance of Operation Atlantic Resolve.



    Date Taken: 09.08.2015
    Date Posted: 09.08.2015 15:46
    Story ID: 175416
    Location: VORU, EE 

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