Wednesday, October 13, 2010

1LAR:Saving lives in the battlefield

Story by Cpl. Eugenio MontanezSmall RSS IconAlerts Icon

COMBAT OUTPOST PAYNE, Afghanistan – Saving lives is a top priority in the battlefield, and Marines and sailors with the Border Mentor Team showed Afghan Border Patrol teams the basics of how to accomplish this.

“We’re here to partner with the ABP to mentor them and give them advice,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Christopher Dunbar, a corpsman with the Border Mentor Team 2 attached to Charlie Company, 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion. “We’re also here to tell them that their techniques are good, but that there is sometimes a better way to do it, and then we show them.”

Designated ABP soldiers practiced airway clearing and treating puncture wounds, Aug. 26, during a two-week course.

“I am turning them into basic medics so they can have a well-rounded unit with capabilities of working on its own,” said Dunbar, a Plano, Texas, native. “I teach them what they need to know to survive.”

The BMT-2 supplied the soldiers with starter medical backpacks so they have the medical supplies they need.

The soldiers will become designated medics for their unit once they finish the course.

“I try my best to learn as much as I can here, to be able to help a wounded friend,” said Abdul Nabil, a soldier with the Afghan Border Patrol, from Kandahar, Afghanistan. “Whatever I learn here will be for my benefit and for my country’s benefit.”
Mentor instructors gave the ABP soldiers a chance to have practical application sessions to show what they learned.

“They are doing well with the classes and they look very confident when they apply what they’ve learned,” Dunbar said. “They really seem to be grasping it well.”

During patrols, instructors monitored the soldiers’ performance and then focused on their weak spots.

“We’re continually assessing them in the field, whenever we see them doing something wrong we correct them and we give them the opportunity to correct themselves,” Dunbar said. “We’re always learning from them, we’re always observing them to see what we can teach them in the next class.”

Often soldiers who are prior students in the course were brought back to refine their knowledge.

“I am here to show them as much as I can, so when I leave they can teach others to do what they know,” Dunbar said. “Basically, I am teaching the teacher.”

As the ABP takes on more responsibility for their area, these medical skills can be another tool for them to move forward in securing peace for the citizens in their area.

“I have been given a big responsibility to carry and I will do my best to apply what I have learned to help my friends and teach it forward,” Nabil said.

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