319th RW hosts first Combat Lifesaver course

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  • By 319th Reconnaissance Wing Public Affairs
  • 319th Reconnaissance Wing Public Affairs

Approximately 30 personnel including airmen from the 319th Medical Group; 319th Security Forces Squadron; soldiers from Bravo Battery, 1st Battalion, 188th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, North Dakota Army National Guard and a member from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection joined to complete a Combat Lifesaver course here, April 14-18.

The CLS course is the second tier of the Department of Defense’s Tactical Combat Casualty Care training, which has now fully replaced the legacy Air Force Self Aid Buddy Care training. TCCC training has four levels of qualification: All service members (tier 1), Combat Lifesaver (tier 2), Combat Medic (tier 3) and Combat Paramedic (tier 4).

This is the first iteration of a locally ran CLS course and showcases the 319th Reconnaissance Wing’s ability to offer this training for neighboring agencies and military bases. The CLS course reinforces Ready Airman Training concepts and integrating sister services and civilian agencies ensures airmen are lethal, resilient and equipped with the skills needed to support the Joint Force and Air Force Generation model deployment concepts.

“Training together is an opportunity to combine different combat perspectives and experiences from each unit,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. John Anthony Camacho Ayala, chief nurse of the 319th Medical Group and CLS trainer. “If a real emergency occurred, it’s important each unit is familiar with what the other can bring to the fight.”

Throughout the five-day course students were taught how to stabilize patients with battlefield injuries as they await further treatment; they learned how to minimize or prevent complications from hemorrhage, airway obstruction and shock. Students were expected to execute the medical training while also mediating simulated expeditionary scenarios including care under-fire, tactical field care and tactical evacuation which orient them to situations they may have not experienced before.

“As a non-clinical medic, this training was enlightening, showing us what our fellow clinical medics do on the battlefield,” said Lt. Col. Gillian Taylor-Dorsett, commander of the 319th Healthcare Operations Squadron. “There is a personal satisfaction of knowing that I’m able to give back a little more in terms of service before self. It also builds team confidence, so our unit is prepared for whatever emergency scenario arises.”

Combat ready airmen not only benefit Joint Force and expeditionary commanders, but many of the Ready Airmen Training concepts like TCCC translate to domestic incidents that can arise at any moment.

“It gives you the skills to help people who have had catastrophic trauma-inducing injuries that don’t only happen on the battlefield,” said U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Tyler Needham, center section sergeant of Bravo Battery, 1-188th ADA Regiment. “Disasters can happen on the interstate or your place of work. We all work around electricity or machinery to some degree.”

The 319th RW plans to continue hosting CLS courses, not only to prepare airmen to deploy under the AFFROGEN model, but also to push the importance of the Air Force’s multi-capable airmen concept. The CLS course introduces the concept of what it means to be multi-capable and provides airmen outside of the medical career field the skills needed to assist medics on the battlefield.

Camacho Ayala said the training is open to anyone on base and that he really hopes to see more airmen and a variety of units involved in later iterations of the course; he said he feels anyone would benefit from the training, regardless of if a member is deploying soon or not.