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Joint Medical Training Observed by ANA
Afghan doctors and medical professionals observe as German, Norwegian, and U.S. medics respond during a simulated mass casualty training exercise on Camp Marmal. Over 80 German, Norwegian and U.S. soldiers participated in the training event with an Afghan National Army medical team observing the evolution. Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Jason Johnston
Regional Command North Story by Ensign Peter Lee
BALKH, Afghanistan (May 7, 2011) – German, Norwegian and U.S. troops simulated a mass casualty joint training exercise on Camp Marmal that was attended by Afghan national army doctors and medical professionals May 3.
A group of senior medical officers from the ANA 209th Corps regional hospital experienced first-hand how International Security Assistance Force medical teams would react in the event of a mass casualty.
“We’re here to see how ISAF reacts in these types of medical situations and to learn from the experience,” said Afghan Col. (Dr.) M. Asif Bromand, commander, military regional hospital, northern zone. “We can see if there are any differences in procedure and take away the better things to do.”
Over 80 people participated in the exercise, to include 18 simulated casualties ranging from minor to life-threatening injuries.
“The focus was on international cooperation in the course of this rescue operation to practice common procedures,” said the deputy commander of the German medical task force, who organized the training. “We can build on what we have seen today- a perfect exercise.”
This was also an opportunity for ISAF medical personnel to sharpen their coordination abilities so they are able to react swiftly in case of a crisis.
“Something like this can happen so working together helps us communicate better when we’re called to help,” said Mette Ulleberg, a Norwegian Army medic. “It’s important for us to coordinate our efforts in this environment and this exercise gave us the opportunity to practice this.”
According to U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Louise Anderson, team lead, Medical Embedded Training Team Mazar-e Sharif, it was important for the Afghan medical officers to see the training.
“They now have a visual to reference their policies,” said Anderson when asked about why this training was important for them to attend. “They work with coalition forces everyday so actually seeing this also helps us mentor them.”
“The most important thing is to save lives,” added Bromand. “This training went very well and gave us the opportunity to learn from the experience. The military police, firefighters and medics- everyone was very professional and we thank ISAF for inviting us.”