By Army Staff Sgt. Andrew Guffey
Task Force Duke
PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan (6/13/11) – Soldiers from Company C, 5th Battalion, 159th Aviation Regiment, Wyoming Army National Guard, conducted a training session for U.S. Army Soldiers and Afghan National Security Forces on helicopter medical evacuation procedures on Combat Outpost Wilderness, Afghanistan on June 3.
Army Spc. Tyler Neff and Army Sgt. Andy Monnin, both flight medics assigned to Co. C, went over changes in the evacuation process and ways to load a litter and hook patients up to a helicopter hoist cable.
They finished the training with a few dry runs and then hands-on practice.
"This training will give me a good assessment of how they will react to an evacuation," said Army Capt. J.P. Montreuil, a physician's assistant assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 6th Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regt., 3rd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, Task Force Duke.
There are only two ways to hoist patients into a helicopter: a hook used to haul ambulatory patients and a litter for more seriously wounded personnel.
"This is a good refresher for me," said Army Pfc. Tommy Cook, a medic assigned to HHT, 6th Sqdn., 4th Cav. Regt., 3rd BCT, 1st Inf. Div, TF Duke. "It helps to remind me to keep an open mind because everything can change."
Several ANSF medics and their leadership also received training on the procedures on calling for and assisting in a medical evacuation.
"We always like to train with the Americans," said one of the ANSF medics. "They are showing us the way to be able to take care of our own country."
The last part of the day's training included hoisting two pairs of Soldiers into the helicopter.
"We like to get out and put a face to the guy on the radio, so when they call us things go a lot smoother," said Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 James Foley, a pilot assigned to Co. C.
After the training, the American and Afghan Soldiers walked away with a little more insight and confidence on evacuation procedures, said some of the Soldiers.
"When we have to do it we are pretty proficient," said Foley.