Guam National Guard courtesy report
COTABATO, Philippines (8/7/12) - About 80 Armed Forces of the Philippines - Philippine Army soldiers, belonging to the battalion medical platoons of the 6th and 10th Infantry Division, went through a Combat Lifesaver Course refresher and Tactical Combat Casualty Care Course facilitated by Guam National Guard members and U.S. Naval Hospital Guam corpsmen.
The 10-day training was conducted on the grounds and training ranges of Camp Siongco, Awang Datu Odin Sinuat, Cotabato City, Mindanao, the 6th ID’s headquarters. Cotabato City is located approximately 700 miles south of the Philippine capital of Manila.
The 6th ID, also known as the Kampilan Division, is under the command of Philippines Major General Rey Ardo.
The training mission is part of the Security Assist and Advise Team program of the State Partnership Program initiative under the National Guard Bureau.
SPP sponsored Subject Matter Expert Exchange medical training such as these provide opportunities to further strengthen positive relations between the Republic of the Philippines and the U.S., and to enable the AFP to execute Tactical Medical Operations.
Army Spc. Tara Lujan, a medic with the Guard National Guard Medical Detachment, said many of the Philippine soldiers already had a working knowledge of what they needed to do to help save their fellow soldier’s life.
“The course was very successful. The students were very bright. A lot of them already had previous knowledge from previous experiences. They know the importance of a tourniquet and all those pre-hospital life saving measures,” she said.
Air Force Tech. Sgt. Daniel Ines, one of the instructors from the 6th ID’s Battalion Medical Platoon, said the training with the joint team that included skills such as wound packing were valuable for his soldiers, as they battle domestic insurgency and radical terrorist groups.
“Itong training na ito ay malaking tulong sa mga sundalo na nasa field… para maiwasan ang mga casualties o namamatay sa field (This training is a big help to the Soldiers in the field… to help avoid casualties or deaths in the field),” Ines said.
The joint team from Guam included seven members of the Guard Army National Guard Medical Detachment, three medics from the 1-294th Infantry Regiment, two members of the Guard Army National Guard Element that conducted command and control operations, and two corpsmen from the U.S. Naval Hospital Guam.
Navy Corpsman HM2 Joseph Hiles came as part of the joint team to instruct on TCCC.
“Fortunately, I speak Tagalog so I am able to act as a translator for the students and for the staff… Just based off the feedback I have seen from the students, it’s a great opportunity out here. Not only am I able to teach TCCC, which I have been doing the last six years, but I’m also teaching it to our allies,” he said. At least a couple of the other members of the team were also fluent in Tagalog.
The SPP is a Department of Defense sponsored program administered by the National Guard Bureau partnering Guard units from different states with selected countries for nation building, among other projects. The Philippines is the Guam Guard’s partner state.