By Sgt. Liane Hatch
3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division
U.S. Soldiers from the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division (3ABCT), Task Force Spartan, and Kuwaiti Land Forces (KLF) Soldiers from the 11th Engineer Battalion conducted joint medical training at Camp Buehring, Kuwait, in order to strengthen ongoing unit partnership and develop basic combat lifesaving skills among Soldiers.
The 3ABCT’s 588th Brigade Engineer Battalion (BSB) facilitated the training, pulling medics from 64th Brigade Support Battalion to train with two separate groups of 11th Engineer Battalion Soldiers at Camp Buehring’s medical support training center. Also supporting the training exercise were two 3ABCT linguists, as well as civilian contractors from Camp Buehring.
“We’re doing medical training with our sister engineer battalion in the Kuwaiti Land Forces, and we’re asking them their best practices for medical techniques and showing them ours,” said U.S. Army Capt. Katie Deichl, 588th plans officer and officer-in-charge of the training.
“They’re learning how to use things that you would find in our [individual first aid kits], and we’re learning more field-expedient type things, like if you don’t have access to an IFAK,” Deichl said.
Throughout the training exercise, Soldiers reviewed basic combat lifesaver skills, such as treating hemorrhages, blocked airways, gunshot wounds, and other forms of potential battlefield trauma. While U.S. Soldiers learn most of these skills during basic combat training and continue to practice them in training environments, KLF Lt. Col. Munawer Al-Otaibi, 11th Engineer Battalion’s explosive ordnance disposal training and operations officer, said Kuwaiti Soldiers have traditionally left those skills to trained medics only. For most of the KLF Soldiers, he said, the joint training was their first exposure to medical training and equipment.
“For us, this is a bit different,” he said. “Normally if we go into combat or into a specific task, we’d have somebody from the medical center themselves come support that task, so typically my men will not deal with an injury. Instead casualties will be treated by the medical professional, so to have this kind of training gives my Soldiers a bit more confidence in how to deal with something under pressure, in combat or in training.”
Working with their Kuwaiti partners helped 3ABCT medics hone their own skills and gave them a greater perspective of how other allied nations train and develop readiness, said Spc. Thomas Savitt, a medic with 64th BSB.
“The main purpose of us being out here is just to share knowledge between ourselves and the Kuwaitis,” he said. “It’s really good practice for us, and it seems like they’re getting a lot out of it, asking a lot of questions and very eager to learn.”
The medics said that from their perspective, everyone involved gained a lot in training value.
“It was really cool to work with another force and practice with our allies,” said Spc. Jay Choi, also a 64th BSB medic. “It’s been a lot of fun and a good chance to see how other nations train.”
U.S. ARMY RESERVE
DEPT. OF DEFENSE
U.S. CENTRAL COMMAND
DEPT. OF HOMELAND SECURITY
BEST WARRIOR COMPETITION