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Task Force Marauder conducts patient-load training with Romanian soldiers in Afghanistan

By Capt. Jessica Donnelly | 59th Aviation Troop Command | November 07, 2017

AFGHANISTAN - Task Force Marauder trained Soldiers with the Romanian Armed Forces on hot and cold-load procedures for a UH-60 Black Hawk in order to know how to safely load a patient in the event of a real-world emergency in Afghanistan where TF Marauder medevac responds.

Soldiers with Detachment 1, C Company, Medical Evacuation, 2-211th General Support Aviation Battalion with the Iowa National Guard, currently deployed to Afghanistan, trained more than 150 soldiers with the Romanian Land Forces over the course of a week in November on the proper procedures for calling for a medevac and loading a casualty.

U.S. Army Capt. Erin Doyle, Detachment 1, C Company, 2-211th GSAB commander, explained the training came as a result of a recent mass casualty attack where members of the previous task force's medevac unit responded and provided medical care and transportation for the Romanian Soldiers. The event showed the importance of the ground troops understanding the procedures for calling the medevac and how to approach the aircraft with a casualty.

The training covered what information needs to be reported in order for the medevac to launch, what equipment and medical capabilities are available in the aircraft, preferences for signaling the aircraft for landing for both day and night, how to prepare and secure a patient before the helicopter arrives, and how to approach the aircraft and interact with the medic to give a patient report.

Overall, the biggest aspect of the training was focusing on safety, added U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Justin Meier, Detachment 1, C Company, 2-211th GSAB platoon sergeant.

"Anyone can carry a litter up to an aircraft, so they need to know the safest way to do it," said Meier.

Meier explained, in an emergency situation where there can be a lot of confusion, it is important for the ground troops to understand how to safely approach the aircraft so they don't get injured or further injure the patient. For that reason, the Romanian soldiers loaded litters while the aircraft was running to practice taking directions from the aircrew.

"It's been great to interact with soldiers and unit that we are responsible for providing medical services to," said Doyle. "Many of them had not been near U.S. aircraft and enjoyed being able to ask questions."

Task Force Marauder is made up of Soldiers from the South Carolina National Guard, Illinois National Guard, Iowa National Guard, as well as active duty component and provides aviation capabilities with AH64 Apaches, UH60 Black Hawks, CH47 Chinooks, and medevac assets in Afghanistan under the 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade while deployed.