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    SOF medics from 10 nations increase life-saving skills at ISTC

    SOF medics from 10 nations increase life-saving skills at ISTC

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Jessica Nassirian | A Norwegian special operations medic treats a sick call patient during the NATO...... read more read more

    PFULLENDORF, Germany – Twenty-four special operations medics from 10 nations graduated from the NATO Special Operations Combat Medic Course at the International Special Training Centre here March 9.

    This was the second iteration of the new 22-week course, during which students learn and implement roughly 164 NATO-recognized critical tasks in specialized treatment of trauma and non-trauma injuries, illnesses and study clinical medicine. Students perform on tactical level in realistic combat scenarios while attaining these specialized skill sets.

    Multinational special operation forces medics and non-medic operators attending the NSOCM course are introduced to a wide variety of lifesaving techniques enhancing their capabilities for unique medical challenges that may arise during special operations forces missions.

    “Saving more lives in combat is the NSCOM foremost intent,” said U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Mark C. Schwartz, Commander of U.S. Special Operations Command Europe. “As NSOCM equips SOF Medic Soldiers with more advanced abilities; they take away what they learned here at ISTC to build a collective capability from medical and non-medical SOF within their organic unit.”

    ISTC is a nine-nation Memorandum of Understanding based organization that received institutional accreditation from NATO. ISTC provides advanced, specialized training focused on individual and tactical level skills to increase the readiness and capacity of NATO and partner SOF. ISTC allows NATO and partner nations to combine resources and instructors while also ensuring interoperability amongst students.

    “Being a small country, Norway has used ISTC to train our soldiers for many years,” said Rear Adm. Jan Sommerfelt-Petterson, a specialist in public health from the Norwegian Armed Forces. “We gain more from the quality of education ISTC provides.”

    Sommerfelt-Petterson believes that providing skilled medics alongside units where doctors aren’t available is critical to saving lives. “The crux of the matter is ISTC takes modern medicine and educates military operators on skills to bring to combat in areas where normal medical support is unavailable,” he said.

    Medics in future contingency operations may face delayed evacuation times and limited resources. Unit’s realize the need to better equip medics with higher education in medical training and to further add to an organization’s standard medic field training to assist with casualties requiring long-term care.

    “In previous operational commitments we discovered we needed a larger presence in medical autonomy,” said Italian Army Brig. Gen. Ivan Caruso, Commander of the Italian Army Special Forces Command. “Italy is dedicating more funds and human resources for our SOF soldiers.”
    Highlighting the relevance of the training, Caruso said an NSOCM-trained Italian Army Special Forces medic was recently recognized during a deployment to Iraq for his contribution in saving lives.

    “If the intent is to create capable special forces working in remote areas away from communication and logistic support, the unit should attend this NATO-recognized course,” stated Caruso.

    In addition to the skills learned, students are awarded a diploma and 60 applicable college credit hours.

    “Along with ISTC’s NATO accreditation, the NSOCM course is aligned with University College of Cork, Ireland,” said U.S. Army Maj. Jon Christensen, ISTC NSOCM Course Director. “These credentials make the ISTC NSOCM course the only combat medical course that upon completion awards a diploma.”

    With the classroom, practical exercises and the high-stress culminated field training exercise complete, the graduates will move on to a final two-week residency in medical facilities in Ireland and Norway before returning to their respective units to put their skills to use and train others in the life-saving techniques learned at the NATO Special Operations Combat Medic course.



    Date Taken: 03.09.2018
    Date Posted: 03.21.2018 07:37
    Story ID: 270070
    Location: DE

    Web Views: 1,123
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