CAMP TAJI, Iraq – The 35th Combat Aviation Brigade conducted basic and advanced combat lifesaving skills courses with Iraqi Army Aviation, 2nd Squadron, aerial gunners throughout March at Camp Taji, Iraq.
Air advisors with the 370th Air Expeditionary Advisory Squadron reached out to experts within the 35th CAB to provide training at the request of the 2nd Squadron commander.
“Everything we’re doing here is supposed to help them secure their borders and defeat Daesh,” said Tech. Sgt. Nathan Camp, 370th AEAS logistics advisor. “In order to do that, they need a sustainable force and teaching them the skills to save lives is a part of that.”
“We were able to train six Iraqis combat lifesaving skills from the basic course all the way through to the advanced course,” said Maj. Shawn Reynolds, 35th CAB brigade surgeon.
The six students backgrounds ranged from nurses to biochemists.
The training course consisted of a week of classroom work followed by a hands-on scenario allowing the students to become comfortable with the material to effectively teach it to others.
“I think the students surprised themselves,” Reynolds said. “They did well, and I’m confident they could teach the basic CLS course without a problem.”
The 35th CAB eventually moved on to train almost 40 individuals basic CLS.
“We received such great information,” said a 2nd Squadron aerial gunner. “It will help me save lives even outside of my official duties.”
The coordination between the 370th AEAS, 35th CAB and the 2nd Squadron provided more than training courses to the squadron members, it gave lasting skills to the team members.
“Talking and listening to many of their stories, they’ve probably seen more battle wound injuries than some of our Soldiers will ever see in their lives,” Reynolds said. “Just hearing the stories of watching people die because they don’t have the training to help them hits hard.”
Reynolds says the experience had a profound impact on him.
“A lot of them have come up to me and told me how they’re going to take this training home to their families to make sure they know if something happens, they can handle it,” Reynold said. “It’s very fulfilling to hear.”