Paktika PRT security forces pull security in local villages

PPAKTIKA PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Children watch as a mine resistant ambush protected vehicle slowly drives through the village of Warjana Kalay in Orgun district April 12. Members of the security Read more

ANP learn how to effectively police their community

GHAZNI PROVINCE, Afghanistan – In the early morning on Dec. 22, before their normal daily patrols were scheduled to begin, 17 Afghan National Policemen lined up outside their district center. Read more

'Taliban hotel' destroyed

  KHOST PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Soldiers located at Combat Outpost Spera partnered with members of the Afghan National Army to destroy a multi-room building, used to protect insurgents as they travelled Read more

Combined Action in the Khost-Gardez Pass

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ISAF units realign in eastern Afghanistan

KUNAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Army Capt. Mark Moretti, commander of Company B, 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, Task Force Lethal Warrior, sits hand-in-hand with Shamshir Khan, one of the Read more

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GHAZNI PROVINCE, AFGHANISTAN - Air Force Senior Airman Austin Hess, Ghazni Forward Surgical Team medical technician, and Air Force Staff Sgt. Shante Lopez carry a litter with an American soldier April 22. The C/2-3 Infantry Division evacuated the injured soldier by helicopter to Forward Operating Base Ghazni. (U.S. Photo by Air Force Tech. Sgt. JT May III)GHAZNI PROVINCE, AFGHANISTAN - The 655th Forward Surgical Team received a call, April 22, that an Afghan ambulance carrying 10 Afghan National Army soldiers was on its way to Forward Operating Base Ghazni for urgent care.

The soldiers, who were injured in a traffic collision during a patrol, would normally be taken to the Ghazni Provincial Hospital, but due to space issues at the hospital and the extent of their injuries, which included possible head trauma, only six went to the Hospital and the other four came to FOB Ghazni.

The first patient arrived at 10:30 a.m., and the FST prepared for a long day. In addition to treating the four ANA soldiers, two more patients required treatment later that day: a U.S. soldier and a Polish soldier.

Designed to treat up to four patients at a time, the FST turned to others on the FOB for assistance.

“We’re only capable of handling four patients, and anything after that, we have to pull from different places,” said Air Force Senior Airman Penny Barker, a medical technician from Corunna, Mich.

Those who answered the call were 13 Polish medics, three medical personnel from the Ghazni Provincial Reconstruction Team and two medics from the Texas Agribusiness Development Team. Everyone dropped what they were doing and ran to the FST to help.

Together, the four units were able to treat six patients simultaneously without a hiccup, even when the FOB came under an insurgent rocket attack and all personnel had to find protection in the bunkers. Faced with possible danger, the medics banded together and stayed with their patients while the sirens sounded their warning throughout the base.

“This is truly a joint environment,” said Navy Lt. Cmdr. Zaradhe Yach, Ghazni PRT senior medical officer from Santa Cruz, Calif. “We have Air Force, Navy, Army and Polish medical teams and Afghan medical providers who act as interpreters and assist where needed.”

Inside the FST, medical personnel worked side by side to care for all six patients with ailments ranging from cuts and broken bones, possible head trauma, a gunshot wound and a fall injury.

“It was very intense and controlled,” said Air Force Capt. Anne Staley, FST registered nurse from Aledo, Texas. Over the next four hours, she tirelessly worked on three different patients.

The patients, both ANA and coalition forces, all received equal care.

“When they come in, you go into autopilot as far as medical care is concerned,” said Staley. “An injured patient is an injured patient.”

For some, this was a new experience working with medics from other countries.

“This was my first time working hand in hand with the Polish today, and watching them was amazing to me,” said Barker. “I learned a lot from them.”

All of the patients left the FST in stable condition. The coalition forces went to Bagram Air Base, one ANA soldier was sent to the Gardez Hospital in Paktya province to be cared for by other Afghan doctors, and the others were released.

The 19 Air Force members of the 655th FST, the first Air Force forward surgical team in Afghanistan, relieved their Army counterparts March 12, and have seen at least 84 patients at FOB Ghazni in 43 days.

At the end of the day, the different units discovered they were bound by a common thread, held together by their medical backgrounds.

“Languages spoken at the bedside were English, Polish, Pashto and Dari, but throughout it all, the common language was medicine,” said Yach.

 

GHAZNI PROVINCE, AFGHANISTAN - Air Force Capt. Lindo Dillette, intensive care unit nurse, charts vital signs as Air Force Capt. Chad Stuckey, certified registered nurse anaesthetist, draws medicine for an Afghan National Army soldier April 22 at Forward Operating Base Ghazni. The FST received ANA soldiers who were involved in a vehicle traffic accident. The FST was able to successfully treat all injuries with help from various components on the FOB. It was a joint, multi-national and multi-service venture. (U.S. Photo by Air Force Tech. Sgt. JT May III)
GHAZNI PROVINCE, AFGHANISTAN - Navy Hospital Corpsman Second Class Leigh-Ashley Proctor of the Ghazni Provincial Reconstruction Team draws pain medicine before applying sutures April 22 at Forward Operating Base Ghazni. The FST received ANA soldiers who were involved in a vehicle traffic accident. The FST was able to successfully treat all injuries with help from various components on the FOB. It was a joint, multi-national and multi-service venture. (U.S. Photo by Air Force Tech. Sgt. JT May III)

 

    

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