Photo Information

U.S. Navy Sailor Lt. Laura Cargill, right, the lead medical planner of Task Force Southwest, instructs Afghan National Army soldiers with 2nd Kandak, 4th Brigade, 215th Corps how to properly call for a casualty evacuation at Camp Shorabak, Afghanistan, Aug. 13, 2017. Several ANA units partnered with the Afghan Air Force and U.S. advisors to enhance their CASEVAC procedures through classroom instruction and practical application. Quickening the CASEVAC process allows for faster movement of a wounded soldier to a medical facility and greatly improves chances for survivability and full recovery. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Lucas Hopkins)

Photo by Sgt. Lucas Hopkins

Speed Saves: 215th Corps soldiers bolster CASEVAC process

16 Aug 2017 | Sgt. Lucas Hopkins II Marine Expeditionary Force

The Afghan National Army 215th Corps is training to enhance their ability to quickly and safely extract wounded personnel from the battlefield.

More than 30 soldiers with 7th Special Operations Kandak and 2nd Kandak, 4th Brigade, 215th Corps completed casualty evacuation training at Camp Shorabak, Afghanistan, Aug. 13-14, 2017.

On the first day of the two-day evolution, U.S. advisors ensured their counterparts understood how to properly communicate a CASEVAC request, while also refining basic combat casualty care.

“The 215th Corps has a hospital here and they do an excellent job, but the problem is moving the casualties from where the point of injury occurs to the hospital,” said U.S. Navy Lt. Laura Cargill, the lead medical planner for Task Force Southwest. “Being able to use a helicopter and get them here in a reasonable amount of time, similar to our golden hour concept, really improves their survivability.”

The soldiers put their knowledge into action on the second day, conducting simulated clearing procedures before providing medical care on notional casualties and calling for a CASEVAC. Incorporating soldiers with various responsibilities was an important feature of the training.

“Not everyone participating is a medic. Some of them are squad leaders, some of them are team leaders, and really the training is for everyone, because anyone can call in a CASEVAC request,” said Cargill.

“This training is very important for us because whenever we have casualty during the mission, we are able to treat them until we can get him to a hospital,” said ANA Capt. Naquadullah Haidari, a doctor with 7th SOK.

Knowing they will be helped in case of injury is also a crucial factor for service members when fighting against the enemy.

“It’s important to save the life of a soldier,” said Haidari. “If we do the CASEVAC as fast as possible, the other soldiers know that they will be taken care of if they are hurt.”

Throughout Task Force Southwest’s role as the main advisory element in Helmand Province, advisors have witnessed the 215th Corps’ ability to use their short supply of helicopters to extract casualties. Allowing soldiers to practice CASEVAC procedures prior to conducting real-world operations helps refine these skills further.

“Being able to move the casualties quickly is important,” restated Cargill. “I think that if we can get them doing this faster and on their own, which they’ve already shown they can, it’s a very realistic capability for them.”

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