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Soldiers perform combat lifesaver training at Camp Arifjan

Spc. Caitlin McCrarry and Spc. Brett Parlee, combat medics with the 505th Headquarter and Headquarters Co., Engineer Battalion, prep a training mannequin before the start of a combat life saver class at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, Feb. 1, 2018. (U.S. photo taken by Spc. Joshua P. Morris, U.S. ARCENT PAO)

Story by Spc. Joshua Morris

U.S. Army Central  

Staff Sgt. Charles Smith with the Headquarters and Headquarters Co., Area Support Group- Kuwait, was one of the noncommissioned officers who organized and supervised the training.

“We’ve resourced and managed to grab everything that we could from pyros to explosives, simulators, and the most realistic training mannequins…,” said Smith. “The best thing that we have for them is a slew of experience in creating these lanes.”

Each lane was supervised by experienced medics who oversaw the participants’ efforts. Spc. Brett Parlee, a combat medic with HHC, 505th Engineer Battalion, guided the trainees in his lane as they performed on the training mannequins in a dark room with flashing lights and blaring music. The stress-inducing ambiance is another way to mirror what could happen on an actual battlefield.

“We’re trying to make it a little bit more stressful for them,” said Parlee.

In addition to the hectic environment, the trainees got a chance to perform on mannequins that straddle the line of real and fake.

“When you come up to one of these mannequins, you actually see bone fragments sticking out,” said Parlee. “There is always a pause every time they come up to a patient. It takes them a moment to get caught up with the situation which is why we’re doing this, so that that happens on a mannequin rather than a real person.”

This is the Army’s most up-to-date approach to medically preparing its Soldiers with modern technology.

Specialist Scott Brunjes, Directorate of Services K-9 Division, ASG-K, is one the 13 students who successfully completed the class. As his team of four progressed through the lanes, they began to adapt to the various situations.

“The blood, I didn’t really see it,” said Brunjes. “Once you start doing things and get your tunnel vison on that, then time starts slowing down.”

These CLS classes with additional realism are not a requirement, but Soldiers often volunteer for them. Although the entire course is simulated, there are real-life implications to be taken away.

“We need to take care of the leading preventable causes of death,” said Smith. “We put them through CLS lanes in order to give them that realistic experience to be prepared for whatever combat casualties are thrown at them.”

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