Master Sgt. Scott Piper plays the role of a casualty in field conditions awaiting British Army joint tactical air controllers to find him and provide medical treatment during a training scenario March 6, 2013, at Stanford Training Area England. Piper and other U.S. Air Force members from the 352nd SOSS spent time conducting combat medical refresher training as an ancillary part of a U.K. exercise held at STANTA range. Piper is the 352nd Special Operations Support Squadron's medical element flight chief. (U.S. Air Force photo/Karen Abeyasekere)
From right, 1st Lt. Rob Fidler, a 19th Regiment Royal Artillary joint tactical air controller officer-in-command, applies a tourniquet to a simulated injury on Master Sgt. Scott Piper, a 352nd Special Operations Support Squadron medical element flight chief, as Bombadier Dan Needham, 19th Regiment JTAC, applies a second tourniquet to Piper’s leg March 6, 2013, at Stanford Training Area, England. The U.S. Air Force members conducted two-day training with British JTACS from 19th Regiment and 3rd Battallion "The Rifles," to share medical knowledge and information related to combat injuries and treatment practices U.S. and U.K. forces use in a field environment. (U.S. Air Force photo/Karen Abeyasekere)
British Army soldiers from 19th Regiment Royal Artillery and 3rd Battalion "The Rifles," practice applying “Israeli” bandages in simulated field conditions March 6, 2013, at Stanford Training Area, England. Members from the 352nd Special Operations Support Squadron shared their medical knowledge with the British military members, teaching them medical techniques to better prepare them for working alongside other nations in a deployed environment. The training also builds camaraderie and positive relationships between U.S. and U.K. forces. (U.S. Air Force photo/Karen Abeyasekere)
Master Sgt. Scott Piper and Staff Sgt. Tyler Hamilton demonstrate to British Army members how quickly a Talon litter can be unfolded and made ready to carry a patient March 6, 2013, at Stanford Training Area, England. British Army soldiers from 19th Regiment Royal Artillery and 3rd Battalion "The Rifles," spent two days with the U.S. Airmen, learning different medical techniques ,which could be used in a deployed environment. Piper is a 352nd Special Operations Support Squadron medical element flight chief and Hamilton is a 352nd SOSS independent duty medical technician. (U.S. Air Force photo/Karen Abeyasekere)
From left, Bombardier Dan Needham; Warrant Officer Class 2 David Cooper and Lt. Rob Fidler, all 19th Regiment Royal, quickly perform necessary checks on a simulated casualty during training in field conditions March 6, 2013, at Stanford Training Area, England. The British Army soldiers, all joint tactical air controllers, spent two days learning about U.S. medical techniques from members of the 352nd Special Operations Support Squadron Medical Element, from Royal Air Force Mildenhall, England. The British soldiers and American Airmen worked together sharing knowledge and further building partnerships to help prepare them for emergency situations in a deployed environment. (U.S. Air Force photo/Karen Abeyasekere)
A British Army soldier from 19th Regiment Royal Artillery from completes a casualty’s "MIST" card March 6, 2013 at Stanford Training Area, England. The card lists mechanism, injury sustained, symptoms and treatment given and is then attached to the casualty as he or she is put on a casualty evacuation vehicle, providing vital information for medics, allowing them to keep track of injuries, treatments and any medication given to patients. Members of the 352nd Special Operations Support Squadron medical element provided training to personnel from 19th Regiment and 3rd Battalion "The Rifles." (U.S. Air Force photo/Karen Abeyasekere)
by Karen Abeyasekere
100th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
3/14/2013 - STANFORD TRAINING AREA, England (AFNS) -- Airmen shared U.S. methods for treating special combat injuries with British Army special forces during a combat medical refresher training here March 5 - 6.
The training enabled Airmen from the 352nd Special Operations Support Squadron medical element and participants from the U.K.'s 19th Regiment Royal Artillery and 3rd Battalion "The Rifles," to share medical knowledge of combat injuries and treatment practices in a field environment.
"We learned much from each other and found similarities in knowledge and information, but with some nuances in technique and equipment," said Maj. Michael Hall, the 352nd SOSS Medical Element chief of medical plans. "It's the knowledge of these nuances that makes both parties better prepared to face injuries on the battlefield."
Working in conjunction with an exercise conducted at the Stanford Training Area here, U.S. service members at Royal Air Force Mildenhall, England, shared their expertise by passing on many techniques to the British soldiers, including different positions for placing a tourniquet and performing a needle decompression on a collapsed lung.
The 352nd SOSS medical element supports special operations forces in a medical capacity and provide medical coverage for crews going out on missions.
"That's our main 'bread-and-butter,' for the (352nd) SOG," Hall said. "We also perform casualty evacuations, moving casualties from what could be the point of injury to hospital care, which is usually at a forward operating base or staging base where we have more medical assets."
These advanced medical assets are used to then stabilize and treat patients, preparing them for evacuation to safer areas.
"Our typical team is a special operations forces medical element; it's a three-person team consisting of a flight surgeon and two independent-duty medical technicians," Hall said. "The IDMTs (enlisted medics) are more of a 'super-medic,' because they have many certifications that your typical paramedic may not have."
Because medical coordination necessary in combat, Hall said the crews like to train with British special forces.
"We're sharing our knowledge with them in the hopes that when we're downrange together, we each have a knowledge and appreciation of the other's skills and training," Hall said. "Out in the field, we don't know if we're going to be saving the life of a U.K., U.S., or other partner-nation soldier. At the same time, our forces don't know if they're going to have a U.S. or U.K. medic, or other partner-nation medic saving their lives -- that's why it's important that we get out and get to know our partner nations and their medical capabilities and skills."
Hall emphasized how joint training is a force multiplier, establishing trust between forces while achieving a common goal.
During this training event, U.S. medics put joint terminal attack controllers in different field scenarios, including having them under fire and coming across casualties. The medics then split into teams, each working together to provide immediate medical attention to those injured, firstly in the form of a mannequin, followed by the 352nd SOSS members role-playing as patients.
The British Army JTACs said they also appreciated the chance to learn from their American counterparts.
"The way things are going in Afghanistan has really identified the need to work within coalition forces," said Lt. Rob Fidler, the 19th Regiment RA officer-in-command. "As JTACs, we work with different nations and for us this is a nice little 'cherry on the top' for our week's training (at STANTA), and I think this is the way it's going to go in the future.
"We get a casualty, we react, treat and move them off -- the way (Americans) do it is very similar to how we do it," he said. "We've just come back from Afghanistan, but we're building up our training again as we move to the future; the way it's going to work is with other nations, so it seemed (wise) to bring these guys in."
Fidler also emphasized how the two nations working alongside each other can only be a win-win situation.
"Our training requirement is ever-ongoing and I see this as building up relationships and working with other nations," he said. "The Americans are a massive resource, so (it's good) to tap into that, and also they're good fun."
It's not just about tactics and procedures for these specialists, said Hall.
"Camaraderie between forces is also a benefit of learning from each other as we did this week," Hall said. "In the end, it's all about saving lives."
3/27/2013 6:11:50 PM ET Glad to see my old unit is still making headlines and keeping up the great work that the 352nd has always done