BAGHDAD – After several successful months at Camp Stryker, Iraq, artillerymen with United States Division-Center have relocated to eastern Baghdad to continue their partnership mission, this time with Iraqi federal police.
Previously, the Soldiers of 1st Battalion, 41st Field Artillery, 1st Advise and Assist Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, worked with the Iraqi Field Artillery School and Directorate at Contingency Operating Location Constitution.
They wasted no time after having to move into their new location at Joint Security Station Loyalty. Medics from the unit conducted an advanced medical skills evaluation with their new Iraqi counterparts, May 26, to kick off the battalion's latest partnership.
"[This class] is setting a tone to let the rest of the Iraqis know and understand our mission … to help them be more self-sufficient, [enabling the Iraqis] to move on and have a bright future," said Sgt. 1st Class Landon Chapman, a native of Bristol, Va., and the medical platoon sergeant assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 1st Battalion.
The three-day training course focused on basic life-saving techniques, but delved further into techniques used by actual healthcare providers, said Chapman.
"Our main goal is to focus on them being able to train their own Soldiers; more of a train-the-trainer atmosphere," said Chapman.
Some of the skills taught in this course included how to control bleeding, prevent shock, obtain and maintain an open airway, treat abdominal injuries, and learn tactical combat casualty care comprising care under fire, tactical field care and casualty evacuation procedures.
"I think [training] is so important [in case] we have a bad situation," said Saeed Hameed Naji, a first sergeant with 1st Federal Police Division. "We need this information, these skills."
Eleven students attended the training; nine of them Iraqi medics. U.S. medics are putting more emphasis on working with the Iraqi medics to build on the skills they already have, said Chapman.
"Over the next few months, we're going to continue to build [their skill level up]," Chapman said. "The training will get more and more advanced as we go. I think they're going to do very well simply because of their desire to learn."
Because U.S. troops are drawing down, Chapman said it's important to leave Iraqis with skills that can be continued for generations.
"We want them to be able to have confidence and knowledge so they can train their soldiers [and] medics to the standards they need to be able to save lives," said Chapman.
Chapman, now serving on his fourth deployment, said this tour is the most important because his mission is focused directly on building a bond between Iraqi and U.S. forces.
Hameed said he is confident he will be able to teach other Iraqis the life-saving techniques he has learned, adding he looks forward to future training and said it feels great to be working with and learning from the Americans.
"We are like a family," said Hameed. "We're partners."
This work, Soldiers in Iraq relocate, establish new partnership, by SSG Samantha Simmons, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.