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Home : News : Overseas Operations
NEWS | July 2, 2024

Pennsylvania Guardsman Instructs Kenyans in Combat Care

By Staff Sgt. Jonathan Campbell, Joint Force Headquarters - Pennsylvania National Guard

MANDA BAY, Kenya – The Pennsylvania National Guard and other U.S. military personnel facilitated a three-day training event with Kenyan Rangers and Infantrymen at Kenya Navy Base Manda Bay.

The country’s proximity to Somalia and the threat of enemy militants crossing the Kenya-Somalia border requires Kenya’s soldiers to be proficient in Tactical Combat Casualty Care, the basic lifesaving actions to employ during or after a firefight.

This instruction is particularly important as the two countries are expected to become major non-NATO allies.

Cpl. Vince Bartolome, a medic with Task Force Paxton, 56th Stryker Brigade, Pennsylvania National Guard, spearheaded the training over three days in May. 

Bartolome emphasized routinely practicing the methods of care being taught to maintain proficiency. Being skilled in these basic levels of care can save the lives of the Kenyans and their fellow Soldiers, Bartolome said.

Included in the training was the order of care provided under fire, proper application of tourniquets, carrying methods for wounded soldiers, wound packing and dressing, where, how, and when to apply a needle chest decompression and installation of a nasopharyngeal airway to aid breathing. During the short course, the Kenyan Rangers and soldiers worked diligently and then ran through a culminating event that incorporated the skills they had practiced.

“It was an honor having the opportunity to train our Kenyan brothers-in-arms,” Bartolome said. “Although I hope that these skills will never have to be used, I know that these fighting men are now better equipped to save the lives of their comrades on the battlefield.”

The Kenyan Rangers and soldiers expressed their heartfelt thanks to their U.S. counterparts. Several have seen combat up close. They have experienced enemy fire, and at least one of them has been shot multiple times and lived to talk about it.