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Photo by Mass Communications 1st Class Gino A. Flores

Afghan combat medic course graduates ready for field operations

11 Jul 2011 | Petty Officer 1st Class Gino Flores

Seventeen Afghan National Army soldiers graduated July 7 from the Combat Medic course at Joint Sustainment Academy Southwest, here.

The eight-week course, taught by Navy hospital corpsmen, teaches ANA soldiers the basic skills needed to operate effectively and efficiently on the battle field under the mentorship of coalition forces.

“They are taught cardiopulmonary resuscitation, litter bearing, personal hygiene and how to handle toxic materials and trauma emergencies,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Alvin Ignacio, class mentor and advisor with JSAS from Mountain View, Calif. “They learn all the skills a certified emergency medical technician needs in the field.”

Sanctioned by the Ministry of Defense and Ministry of Interior of Afghanistan, the courses provided at JSAS allow coalition forces and Afghan National Security Forces to continue to build on the partnership that promotes the country’s self-sustainment and independence.

“The graduates will go on to the field to apply everything they’ve learned throughout the eight weeks alongside coalition mentors while conducting operations,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class John Noble, a native of Redlands, Calif., and the course’s lead instructor.

“We will continue to track their progress and provide continuing educational training so that they are up to speed with the latest developing tech and procedures.”

The graduation marked the fourth class of the course, noteworthy for the academic achievement of its student, said Ignacio.

“Afghans attending the course usually averaged a grade point average score of at least 81 percent, but this last class has managed to push the bar to a level of 89 percent,” Noble explained.

“This has been the best class to date … the latest class has lifted the bench mark of excellence for students to follow,” he added. Students who excel or demonstrate exceptional potential are chosen to go through an additional two week instructors course held In Kabul.

“Now that I have completed my training, I’m ready to teach my [Afghan] brothers, teach them how to help the injured during emergencies,” said Staff Sgt. Ahmad Monsoor a soldier with the ANA aboard 215th Corps, 1st brigade, 5th Kandak.

Monsoor was named the honor graduate after achieving the highest GPA in the class. and is headed to the instructor training course in Kabul.

The academy’s leadership also tracks former students through mentors in the field and selects those who are most proficient to become instructors so they can train even more Afghan troops.