REGIONAL MILITARY TRAINING CENTER SOUTHWEST, Afghanistan – Afghan National Army recruits started first aid training during their third week of Regional Basic Warrior Training at the Regional Military Training Center Southwest May 12.
On a large open field, out in the sun, the Afghan soldiers from the 4th Tolay, RBWT Kandak, listened and watched as ANA instructors, or bridmals, taught them basic first aid bandaging and carrying techniques.
“Its 100 percent important (they learn) first aid because they know they can prevent death easily,” said ANA 1st Lt Faiz Ra, the company executive officer for 4th Tolay, through a linguist.
The ANA bridmals taught the trainees a series of basic combat first aid techniques to help treat wounded soldiers or civilians: applying tourniquets, putting on bandages and carrying casualties in carries or stretchers. The tolay was divided into two different parts for the lectures. The trainees sat in a semi-circle around a table where a bridmal used trainees as examples.
“First we are teaching them, after that we are going to ask them did you understand,” ANA Sgt Shah Merza, one of the instructors and a bridmal, said through a linguist. “If they say yes, then it is okay. If they don’t understand we will teach them again. And at the end, we will test them.”
But it seemed the trainees didn’t have many questions. The bridmals went through the training with just a few questions.
The bridmal talked to them about how and where to apply a gauze wrap for abdominal wounds. He patted the stomach and chest of the example casualty, placing his hands where the bandage could be applied and held up the large gauze with wraps to secure it to the patient’s body. He pushed the patient’s lower back up to wrap the gauze around him, and patted the bandage for emphasis after it was wrapped.
They also learned how to secure and carry a patient in a fabric stretcher. One trainee pretended to be a patient. Trainees in back stood up to see as another bridmal explained how the stretcher worked. Other bridmals demonstrated how to carry it. They counted to three and lifted the trainee secured on the stretcher up and down a few times. Then they ran with him to show the stretcher’s stability.
Another thing they learned was how to carry a wounded soldier. Two bridmals demonstrated a fireman’s carry. One slung the other across his back and walked another bridmal as an example and slung him across his back. With the fellow bridmal on his back he asked the soldiers if they understood, they said yes and he walked a few paces to show how to walk in that carry and set him down.
The rest of the day would be spent learning how to assemble and disassemble the M16A2 rifle, Faiz Ra said.
“For example we have a lot of lectures for these guys, like squad attacks, squad ambush, marching early in the morning on Wednesday, we’re marching 10 kilometers around RMTC and Shorabak on Thursday,” Faiz Ra said. “We have culture and religious lecture then after that, they are off.”
The Danish Army advisor to Faiz Ra and the 4th Tolay said the training is good but he hopes the groups are broken down even more in future classes.
“We’re trying to get them to break into smaller groups that way they can do even more exercises,” said Danish Army Staff Sgt. Daniel, the lead advisor for the 4th Tolay, or company “But the way they have it now is good.”
NTM-A is a coalition of 38 troop-contributing nations charged with assisting the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in generating a capable and sustainable Afghan National Security Force ready to take lead of their country’s security by 2014. For more information about NTM-A, visit www.ntm-a.com.
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