Sunday, November 23, 2008

Expeditionary Security Sailors Train to Save Lives, Prepare for Deployment

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Scott Dagendesh, Fleet Public Affairs Center, Det. Northwest

EVERETT, Wash. (NNS) -- Sailors from Maritime Expeditionary Security Group (MESG) 1, who are preparating to mobilize for deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, conducted tactical combat casualty care (TCCC) training aboard Patrol Boats 201 and 202 at Naval Station Everett Nov. 14.

MESG 1's Maritime Expeditionary Boat Det. (MAREXBOATDET) 922 is trained to prevent terrorist, criminal or hostile acts in a maritime environment. TCCC is a three-day course for the Sailors assigned to the boat detachment, which is vital for the preservation of lives on the battle front.

"What we are teaching these Sailors is some simple, basic skills so that they can recognize and assess situations in a mass casualty so that that they are able to do the initial lifesaving skills to stop massive bleeding, assess their breathing and do what they can to stop loss of life," said Hospital Corpsman 1st Class (FMF) Richard Arnett, TCCC instructor. "So we have just given them good tools besides basic first aid that can help them ... where the victim has received massive trauma."

The underlying significance of the training is to reduce preventable combat death while giving initial care for a wounded combatant. According to Lt. Christopher Burns, TCCC is becoming the ideal method for reaching out and preserving lives.

"Today, TCCC is quickly becoming the standard of care for the tactical management of combat casualties within the Department of Defense and is the sole standard of care dually endorsed by both the American College of Surgeons and the National Association of EMTs for casualty management in tactical environments."

Burns noted that TCCC is just one of the courses that the boat detachment had to complete in preparation for their deployment to the Middle East.

"The Navy's Bureau of Medicine and Surgery officially made TCCC the Navy's standard of care on the battlefield, making initial care for the wounded combatant, regardless of service affiliation, consistent across the board in all of the military services."

TCCC is the final stage of MAREXBOATDET 922's training.

"We ran a drill [that involved] all the skills we taught them over the past few days, and they [had to] bring them together," said Arnett. "That way the students have to take everything they learned and use them at once to make it happen."

"In my prior three deployments, I have never seen a command receive this quality and type of medical training," said Burns. "Thanks to (Senior Chief Hospital Corpsman) Karl Matous and his outstanding training team this will greatly increase our medical response readiness and potentially save Sailors' lives."

MESG 1 is part of the Navy Expeditionary Combat Command.