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Phoenix Express Training Broadens Medical Capabilities

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS110527-08

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (SW) Edward Vasquez, Navy Public Affairs Support Element-East

SOUDA BAY, Crete (NNS) -- The U.S., Royal Morocco and Mauritania naval forces sharpened their essential skills in basic combat first aid training presented May 25, during Phoenix Express 2011 (PE-11), a multi-national maritime exercise designed to enhance regional maritime partnerships.

"What we are doing here today is basic first aid training," said U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class David Openshaw, lead medical instructor and Utah National Guard member. "Most of the countries that come here already have their own style of training. All we want to do is broaden their understanding and show them what we do."

The medical training will continue through the entire course of PE-11, a three-week evolution divided into in-port and underway training phases, and will include practical, as well as classroom, training.

"This is great training," said Cmdr. John Quigley, Medical Corps, PE-11 senior medical officer and Reserve component member from 6th Fleet Reserve Det. 802, out of Navy Operational Support Center Atlanta. "We are here giving all of our multinational partners a broader understanding of basic first aid so that when we are working together we will all have the same knowledge."

The training covered basic first aid, specifically the "ABCs" – how to check an airway, breathing and circulation – as well as how to apply tourniquets and how to stop a sucking chest wound.

"This training has been very good," said Royal Moroccan Navy Maj. Afkir Said, a MIO unit team leader. "We are here to learn, and this training will help our troops."

Maritime and land forces from 13 countries are participating in the international military partnering exercise, which commenced at the NATO Maritime Interdiction Operations Training Center in Souda Bay May 23. The exercise will culminate with a six-day underway portion in the Mediterranean Sea. PE-11 is a unique training opportunity designed to enhance each country's ability to work together and to deter illicit trafficking at sea.

U.S. units participating in PE-11 will include USS Robert G. Bradley (FFG 49), USS Stephen W. Groves (FFG 29), and Military Sealift Command maritime prepositioning ship USNS LCPL Roy M. Wheat (T-AK 3016) and fleet replenishment oiler USNS Big Horn (T-AO 198). They are joined by Royal Morocco navy frigate Hassan II, along with two MIO boarding teams. Additional U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa staff personnel will also participate alongside other international naval forces in this exercise.

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