News: Train as you fight: Navy, Army, Royal Engineers exchange tactics
Story by Sgt. Julieanne Morse
RAPID CITY, S.D. – Members of the Army Reserve’s 486th Engineer Company, the Navy Reserve’s Expeditionary Medical Facility Dallas One and members of the Corps of Royal Engineers came together for a lifesaving measures training lane at West Camp Rapid during the South Dakota National Guard’s Golden Coyote training exercise, June 17.
Golden Coyote is a premiere training venue for National Guard, Reserve and active-duty military, providing relevant training opportunities with foreign allies and partners.
“We are training here as if we are a NATO coalition,” said Navy Lt. j.g. Ike Akanu, a member of EMF Dallas One and the officer-in-charge of the Perform Immediate Lifesaving Measures training lane. “We have worked with the Danish, the Canadians, the U.K. and our own service members. It’s no different than what we experience in combat. This war we are fighting on terrorism is a joint effort, and we are realizing that and seeing, hands on, how we train with each other will help us when we go over there to assimilate better.”
Navy Senior Chief Stephen Hinkle, a member of the EMF Dallas One and the non-commissioned officer-in-charge of the lane, said it is important to train as you fight and he shared an experience of when he performed immediate lifesaving measures within a joint operation. His Navy unit was attached to a U.S. Army unit and they were traveling in a convoy together.
“In 2009-2010, I was in Afghanistan and our medic was hit with a mortar,” said Hinkle. “He had a lot of shrapnel on the right side of his body. He actually had a piece go through his cheek and come out of his mouth. We didn’t really know where he was hit, so we dragged him to cover and I applied direct pressure on his face by his jawbone until some medics got there. I held pressure on his face and I held pressure on one of his legs. Fortunately, we didn’t need a tourniquet. The direct pressure was enough. They evacuated him with a helicopter.”
A tourniquet is a device used to stop blood flow to an extremity. Tourniquet application is one of the break-out sessions taught at the Perform Immediate Lifesaving Measures training lane.
“Based on the research that has been done since the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, it’s showing the need for tourniquet application,” said Akanu. “So, we are teaching these soldiers here that, even though you are not a medic or a corpsman, you can apply your tourniquet as soon as you get injured or apply your buddy’s tourniquet if the person is unconscious, because the tourniquet has been proven to save lives.”
There are 50 countries that are part of the International Security Assistance Forces in Afghanistan.
“With all the different countries supporting each other, it’s good to get everyone on the same page, knowing the same basic lifesaving techniques,” said Hinkle.
Members of the Corps of Royal Engineers say they will take home what they’ve learned at Golden Coyote this year.
“We are taking a huge amount of information back,” said Cpl. Alan McShane, a member in the 102 Field Squadron, 71st Engineer Regiment based in Paisley, Scotland. “We are integrating really well. The companies here have been absolutely excellent. They are giving us every opportunity to train.”
Participation in the Golden Coyote training exercise provides relevant training opportunities in support of contingency operations and homeland defense.
Army Staff Sgt. Tim Walker, a platoon sergeant with the 486th said, it would be nice to have all U.S. military branches train together more often along with different countries, because you never when you might meet up down the road and fight next to each other.
Approximately 500 service members from multiple branches of service and foreign nations are scheduled to go through the Perform Immediate Lifesaving Measures training lane at Golden Coyote this year.