U.S. Army Soldiers Hold First Combat Lifesaving Skills Exercise With Djiboutian Soldiers
Soldiers from the 2/138th Field Artillery Regiment, supporting the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa mission, took advantage of an opportunity to hone their medical first responder skills with members from the Djibouti Armed Forces-Artillery Regiment here recently.
Overall, the exercise was designed to share best practices about emergency medicine, triage, stabilization and evacuation. The participating Soldiers, Sergeant Tiffany Anestis and Spc. Eric Gipson, shared their knowledge on the subjects in a classroom setting and then with the Djiboutian soldiers during practical exercises.
"I've participated in similar exercises with the Djibouti army, but never with Americans and I've never been in an exercise as rich with information as this one," said Abdoulkader Mohamed Omar, combat nurse, DJAF Artillery Regiment. "We were grateful to learn new methods."
Anestis, an emergency-care sergeant, said the exchange covered several specific combat lifesaving techniques, from properly evaluating a casualty's condition to learning hemorrhage- control techniques to building improvised litters.
"They were very receptive and eager to learn new ways to perform medical first aid," said Anestis. "It was nice to interact with the Djiboutian soldiers."
Gipson, a healthcare specialist, said DJAF soldiers learned to make splints, litters and other medical supplies using household materials.
"The Djiboutians' ability to improvise was impressive," said Gipson. "To make litters, they used skirts. They did a good job and always put in a great effort using whatever materials they had available."
"They [U.S. Soldiers] showed us how to use certain items, even if you don't have the necessary equipment, to save someone's life, said Cpl. Ibrahim Mohemed Youssef, DJAF Artillery Regiment. "That's very important to us."
Of note, the exercise was the only medical first responder exercise ever held between Djibouti and American soldiers, said Maj. Michael Woodson, 2/138th FAR military-to-military coordinator.
"The exercise was important," said Woodson. "It was not only a great opportunity to strengthen everyone's medical capabilities; it helped strengthen our relationship with a partner - and our team enjoyed it."