Soldiers learn advanced medical skills

Captain Daniel Kop
Captain Daniel Kop
Lance Skewis
Lance Skewis

By Howard Dashefsky - bio | email

WAIMANALO (KHNL) - More than 40 men and women spent their day learning skills designed to save lives.

The lives of their brothers and sisters in arms, in the battle fields of the Middle East.

If you didn't know any better.

"What are you doing here. Get him out, let's go!"

You might think this was real. The combat exercise was the culmination of a 21 day training course for Hawaii Army Reservists.

Specifically, advanced medical training for combat medics, soon to be deployed in support of operation Iraqi freedom.

'What's going to happen if he has 2nd and 3rd degree burns and your going all the way around like this'.

"This is what they'll go through," said Captain Daniel Kop.  "This is a scenario based driven FOB, Forward Operating Base, similar to what we have have in Iraq. All the wounds that you see is lessons learned from the theatre, training the medics getting them prepared to go in."

Working in teams of four, the soldiers quickly identify the most severe injuries, then treat the wounded in a battlefield situation.

"You got one minute to move, let's go. Get him out of here!"

"At that point they move from point of entry to out of the kill zone, provide triage, from there they'll remount and go to the higher level of care which is the casualty collection point which they're in right now," said Kop.

For the solders receiving the training, drills like this help prepare them to make decisions that could be the difference between life and death, in the battlefield.

"It was intense," said Army Specialist Lance Skewis.  "It was good training definitely what I need to get out there, always been leary if I 'm good enough when I get out there but this training has given me confidence and I know I'll be able to take care of my guys when I get out there."

After completing their training here, the soldiers will get more skills and infantry training in California and Texas, before being deployed to Iraq.