Coalition Forces Train and Maintain Combat Medic Skills

Though they’re less than a month from completing a year-long combat tour in Iraq, troops assigned to the 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division continue to assist the 10th Iraqi Army Division.

The 5th Battalion ‘Black Dragons’ provided medical training to their IA partners in the 41st Iraqi Army Brigade here recently.

“The training is a great step for the Iraqi army medical personnel,” said Sgt. John Lewis, the non-commissioned officer in charge of the Black Dragon medics, from Oregon, Ohio.

The Black Dragons began their training with their IA counterparts last September, while their unit was stationed in Kumayt, an Iraqi compound inside southern Iraq’s Dhi Qar province. Since then, the American troops have trained their partners in everything from basic combat life saving skills to advanced medical training techniques.

While at Kumayt, the Iraqi Soldiers completed a week-long training program to become certified as combat medics. The certified IA medics will eventually share their newfound techniques with other troops within their unit.

“I had fun out there,” said Pvt. Justin Ross, a native of Paola, Kan. “All their medics seemed to want to learn more.”

After the 41st Iraqi Army Brigade established their headquarters at Forward Operating Base Condor, adjacent to the operating base here, the two units’ partnership continued with actual operations along Iraq’s southeastern border. The Black Dragon medics will continue to train the 41st Bde. medical personnel to ensure their independence as a stable and independent Army.