Djibouti, AFRICA - The 404th Civil Affairs Battalion Functional Specialty Team medics, assigned to Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa, conducted a Combat Lifesaver Course (CLS) for 33 Italian Carabinieri on Base Militar Italiano de Supporte, April 23-28.
The Carabinieri, Italy’s national police force, was formed over 200 years ago and serves as both a military force in defense of their nation and as a police force for judicial and public order.
Teaming up with medics from the Texas Army National Guard’s Task Force Bayonet, the instructors conducted a five-day, forty-hour course. Combining classroom instruction and hands-on training, the Italian soldiers were educated on tasks such as tactical combat casualty care, hemorrhage control and treatment of chest wounds.
“One of our main focuses is teaching them how to treat injuries,” said Staff Sgt. Richard Rye, a medic with the 404th Civil Affairs Battalion.
While the Carabinieri may have to deal with battlefield injuries during war, they also have to deal with gunshot wounds, blunt force trauma and car accidents while serving as a police force.
“The biggest thing we focus on is stopping a hemorrhage,” said Rye. “We focus mainly on the arterial bleeds because that’s what is severely life threatening. We try to focus on tourniquets, wound packing and pressure dressings.”
The course, which is broken down into 10 different classes, and specifically covers tactical combat casualty care (TC3).
“We cover the TC3 and break it down from there,” Rye said. “So we show them how to control bleeding, how you maintain an airway, how you do penetrating chest trauma and how you treat a gunshot wound.”
This is the third rotation of medics have taught this course to Italian coalition partners, with this current class being a mix of both officer and enlisted students. Though communication at times was challenging, many of the Carabinieri spoke English.
“I signed up to take this course because I wanted to refresh my skills and acquire more comfort with the CLS,” said Vice-brigadiere Dennis Xamin, a Carabinieri with the 1st Paratroopers Carabinieri Regiment, Tuscania. “I have taken courses like this before in Italy, but practice is always good and training is very important.”
“Sometimes communication was a challenge,” said Xamin, who was the leader for his team’s final evaluation. “But our team did a good job and they were comfortable with the tasks that I gave them, so I am pretty happy.
The Carabinieri were given a certificate of completion, enabling them to receive credit with their own military.
“Teaching this class provided an opportunity to build upon our partnership and keep our coalition force strong,” said Rye. “Helping to keep everyone safe is a win-win.”