Army, Navy train to save lives downrange
Guam Army National Guard (GUANG) Soldiers and Sailors from Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 25 trained together on combat lifesaving skills and search and rescue at Andersen South Feb. 19.
This is the first time the GUANG and HSC-25 had large-scale coordination and trained together specifically on combat life saving.
“It’s good for morale and getting the Soldiers pumped up,” said 2nd Lt. Michael Taman, GUANG, 203rd Regional Training Institute training administrator. “They’ve been training off and on for the past year. It’s the first time for most of them to go on a helicopter. It’s a huge incentive for these guys to have this kind of training right before they deploy.”
Altogether, it took approximately three months to coordinate the training.
“HSC-25 provided us with air medical evacuation assets, something usually lacking and hard to obtain in a training environment,” Taman said. “We’re fortunate we were able to sync our training schedules.”
The Soldiers went through combat life saver training, a 40-hour course designed to test Soldiers’ abilities to treat injuries under fire. The course included classroom instruction, hands-on evaluations and field training where Soldiers learned to provide treatment and get casualties out of a combat zone safely.
During training, HSC-25 Sailors were also able to fulfill their own training requirements on ground personnel recovery.
“The ability to recover isolated and possibly injured personnel is one of the critical capabilities of the Navy HSC community,” said Lt. Brian Cramer, HSC-25 mission coordinator. “Pilots were able to train in communications, procedures, tactics and maneuvers associated with combat search and rescue. Rescue swimmers were able to practice on ground rescue, and hospital corpsmen were able to practice scene and patient assessment and combat casualty care.”
Cramer said training is more effective with actual ground forces because it helps HSC-25 members see requirements and perspectives of other units involved.
“Procedures for combat search-and-rescue and casualty care are standardized among services, so it is very beneficial to see how the operation goes firsthand,” Cramer said. “For example, a timeline or landing zone that works for aircraft may not work for ground forces and vice versa. When we work with each other, we learn things important to other units and how to maximize coordination on the battlefield.”
During training, Soldiers were able to make contact with the pilot, request a medical evacuation and obtain an actual arrival time.
“Nothing enhances this training more than communicating with a pilot, looking up, seeing a helicopter and knowing when it is going to land,” Taman said. “It provides another dimension of realism and enhances training.”
Taman said Andersen South is a suitable training area for urban operation because of old houses and paved roads on location. It’s the area on island most similar to what Soldiers are likely to encounter during their deployment.
“Andersen South is the closest location we can find that can simulate being downrange without going over there,” Taman said. “We can kick doors in and clear houses. It is the largest area on island that has facilities we need for this kind of training.”
With different branches bringing different contributions to the fight, joint training has been more prevalent across the Department of Defense now more than ever.
“Everything now seems to be joint and we need to train and execute real-world missions with other branches,” Taman said. “This exercise helps us push toward that direction. We’re really thankful to the Air Force for letting us use their training areas and to the Navy for coordinating with us and letting us use their medevac capabilities. We look forward to doing more joint training and missions in the future.”See More