Strengthening partnerships one training at a time

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Gabrielle Winn
  • 724th Expeditionary Air Base Squadron

The 724th Expeditionary Air Base Squadron conducted a joint tactical combat casualty course with Army, Air Force and Forces Armées Nigeriennes military personnel at Nigerien Air Base 201, Agadez, Niger, Jan. 12, 2021

In this course, the 409th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron air advisors and the 724th EABS medical team covered topics such as the basic principles of care under fire, tactical field care, and tactical evacuation. Under those premises, topics such as enemy fire suppression and self-care during care under fire, review tourniquets, hemorrhage controlling bandaging, evisceration care, burn care, litter carry techniques, and additional evacuation techniques were also taught.

“The [U.S. Air Force] air advisor team puts the FAN through an eight-week course,” said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Harrison Stewart, 409 ESFS air advisor. “They are ran by us (air advisors) and for specific topics, such as medical training, we bring in the experts to give the students the best possible training experience.”

Given the joint environment at AB 201, training so closely with the FAN poses a unique experience.

“Training together provides a unique platform to accomplish multiple goals,” said U.S. Army Major Thomas Mitchell, 724 EABS director of operations. “Improved preparation of the Nigerien fighting capability, partnership and trust building exercises strengthen coalition alliance, and break down cultural barriers to share a common purpose which is learning medical care.”

Along with training host nation forces on basic tactical combat casualty care, joint training like these helps strengthen partnerships between U.S. military forces and foreign host nations.

“I feel extremely blessed to be afforded this opportunity to help better the FAN,” Stewart said. “I know the training we provide them will pay dividends in the future.”

In conjunction with Air Base 201 mission, strengthening relations with the FAN and the local Agadez community are top priority.

“Collaborative partnerships strengthen pre-existing alliances and overcome cultural differences to create a stronger fighting force,” Mitchell said “Education is a powerful tool to convey cultural appreciation, understanding, and forward-thinking concepts that are critical to future conflict resolution.”