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    Polish Territorial Defense Forces, U.S. service members team up for 24th WSJ



    Story by Maj. Holli Nelson 

    West Virginia National Guard

    As the 24th World Scout Jamboree is in full swing at the Summit Bechtel Reserve, members of the Polish Territorial Defense Forces (PTDF) and the West Virginia Army National Guard (WVARNG) are gaining valuable training as a part of the Joint Task Force – World Scout Jamboree.
    Under the leadership of Col. Todd Fredricks, task force medical commander and WVARNG state surgeon, seven members of the PTDF are working side-by-side with nurses, medics and physician’s assistants from the West Virginia and Connecticut National Guards, as well as the active duty Army, providing expedient medical care to Scouts taking part in the World Scout Jamboree.
    “I think the knowledge that Polish medics can deliver the same level of care as an American Soldier is expecting from an American Soldiers and vice versa – that the Poles are confident with the type of quality of care that their troops are getting from an American Soldier - is based on common training principles,” said Fredricks. “I think it’s a great opportunity for us to work together."
    In 2020, the European Jamboree will be held at Sobieszewo Island, Gdansk, Poland. Polish Territorial Defense Forces will play a critical role in providing planning expertise and support prior to and during the 2020 European Jamboree.
    At the beginning of the Jamboree on July 20, 2019, both the PTDF and Task Force Medical personnel took part in a large-scale medical readiness exercise with the World Scout Jamboree that involved hundreds of role players. The event was designed to practice emergency response and preparedness plans as well as interagency coordination for a simulated large-scale medical event.
    In addition to having hand-picked medical personnel on site, the PTDF has Soldiers embedded in the Joint Task Force working alongside both West Virginia Army and Air National Guard personnel and Department of Defense civilians for planning and response during the Jamboree.
    “As important as the Jambroee as an event is, we are looking at a longer scale cooperation [for the PTDF] and this is just another stepping stone in galvanizing the relationship we have with the West Virginia National Guard when it comes to cooperation, interoperability and exchanging of ideas,” said Marek Zaluski, Polish Territorial Defense Forces public information officer.
    “For a single paramedic in the field, it might be hard to understand that what we are doing here,” Zaluski continued. “We are dealing with over 40,000 Scouts at the Jamboree and are explaining how they [our medical personnel] are unique part of the mechanism to making the event a success. So the whole aspect of interoperability is very important to us as well as learning what do we do that is the same and what do we do different and how do we make it work together.”
    Fredricks explained the importance of this type of multi-national training taking place between West Virginia and Poland, especially in the realm of medical readiness and tactical combat casualty care or TCCC.
    “What’s particularly interesting to me is that TCCC, which has been pushed and developed heavily in the last decade or so of combat operations, is that it’s a universal language. So if we have U.S. troops deployed into Poland, they know a Polish medic is going to deliver the same TCCC principles for lifesaving that we would deliver. That is is an awesome thing.”
    Zaluski commented that as the relationship between the PTDF and the WVNG has grown over the past few years, he believes that Guard members are becoming more familiar with seeing and working alongside Polish forces.
    “It’s a great feeling to be here and to be walking around the armory and to see familiar faces. We want to keep building upon that because I think everyone feels very comfortable [working together],” Zaluski said.
    Fredricks explained that this type of bilateral work between international forces is important for building a strong relationship that can mature into the future.
    “Going forward, having partners here from Poland, we might be able to work with Illinois and their State Partnership Program to use West Virginia forces to build upon our relationship further and take part in more exercises and training like we have during the Jamboree,” he said.
    West Virginia and Poland have been training together through the National Guard Bureau’s State Partnership Program (SPP) for more than two years. The SPP links states and territories with partner countries around the world to foster mutual interests, establish long-term relations, enhance U.S. national security interests, and promote political stability. Through the SPP program, the Illinois National Guard is partnered with Poland while West Virginia has supplemented training requirements to assist the Illinois-Poland partnership.



    Date Taken: 08.01.2019
    Date Posted: 08.01.2019 13:34
    Story ID: 334098
    Location: GLEN JEAN, WV, US 

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