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Coalition forces conduct, supervise training exercise

by Staff Sgt. Carlos Diaz
U.S. Central Command Air Forces Public Affairs

3/19/2007 - KABUL, Afghanistan (AFNEWS) -- Amid a mountainous landscape, students at the Afghan National Army's Officer Candidates School particpated in a medical training exercise at the Kabul Military Training Center March 15.

The ANA's OCS falls under the Afghan National Army's Training and Education Command, where personnel, doctrine, logistics, education and training disciplines are taught.

"The ANA is very excited that we're here to help," said Air Force Capt. Jaime Carsten, military training adviser.

Members from nine coalition countries, including 19 Air Force personnel, work together to train the ANA students by mentoring them as they become professional military members.

OCS students were tested on how they react to medical emergency situations, provide security, prepare offensive measures and administer medical attention, said ANA Sgt. Maj. Tawab Sidiq, noncommissioned officer of communications.

"The scenario featured a car bomb explosion with several injuries," Sergeant Sidiq said.

Before the students take to the field, they are given classroom instruction. Once instruction is given, it's applied in the field.

This exercise is one of nine exercises the OCS students are evaluated on before graduation. The OCS lasts 23 weeks and is taught by Afghan and British instructors.

"Throughout the exercise, each student gets to play a different role," said British Army Lance Cpl. Stephen Coyle, adjutant general corps and staff personnel support.

"We do that so we can evaluate them individually and give them proper instruction," Corporal Coyle added. "The ultimate goal is for the students to reach their objective as quickly and as efficiently as possible."

According to Corporal Coyle, different instruction is given to achieve several military objectives.

As some students cordoned off the area, others secured and treated the "wounded" while a few more used appropriate communication techniques to call for medical evacuation.

"We teach them to use a standard 9-line medical evacuation request form," said British Army Maj. Ivor Lopez, OCS instructor.

The form consists of nine lines of medical evacuation information, such as pickup site, radio frequency, number of patients and special equipment required.

"For the best possible results, our exercises are conducted using real-time training," Major Lopez said. "That way, we can set them up for success."

During this real-time training, the students coordinated with Italian and French armed forces to evacuate the "injured" from the field.

In the distance, Italian Maj. Marcello Lignela was seen communicating with UH-60 helicopter pilots. The landing zone was in a field several yards away from the triage area.

As soon as Major Lignela gave the signal, the International Security Assistance Force pilots landed several helicopters. Without hesitation, ISAF and ANA personnel headed toward the triage area to move the patients.

With careful attention, the OCS students navigated through the rocky terrain and safely placed the "injured" soldiers inside the choppers.

With one quick rotation of the helicopters' overhead blades, the patients were swooped away.

Once the helicopters flew out of site, the remaining students stood on the ground knowing they had completed their exercise and had reached their objective.

Major Lopez said the students are further evaluated and graded on their proficiency.

"The students work hard to successfully complete all facets of their training," the major said. "With hard work, they can become very competent and capable officers."

"The KMTC leadership, officers, NCOs and soldiers are proud to serve Afghanistan," said Brig. Gen. Mohammad Amin Wardak, KMTC commander. "We'll continue to develop and grow as an independent and professional army, and we take pride in the fact that all but two of our courses are Afghan led." 

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