Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) soldiers conducted a Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TC3) medical knowledge exchange with Task Force Red Dragon, Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA), for the first time at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, May 27, 2022.
The goal of the course was to exchange knowledge about life-saving care in order to reduce combat casualties, increase interoperability between forces, and help achieve mission success in future endeavors.
“For future operations, the joint partnership we’ve built with them ensures we can fight alongside them and take care of each other,” said U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Alton Sturdifen, a medical platoon sergeant with Task Force Red Dragon, CJTF-HOA. “We’re trying to build that joint partnership and develop trust for future success on the combat field.”
Sturdifen also noted the underlying importance to these information exchanges and their importance towards growth between partner forces. Japanese and U.S. forces taking part in the information exchange strengthened their interoperability through their creative communication and motivation to learn.
“The visual aids were the big highlights of it, just showing, demonstrating, with some translating in the middle of it,” said Sturdifen, “They processed that and absorbed it really well. One of the main things that made the exchange easier was the fact that they were highly motivated.”
One of the JGSDF participants said they were really excited with their experiences in the TC3 training. They recognized the differences between the U.S. and Japan medical training. They expressed an interest in doing more advanced exchanges of knowledge in the near future.
“Traditionally… every (U.S.) member has TC3 with a basic knowledge and understanding of their [Issue Improved First Aid Kit (IFAK)],” said U.S. Army 2nd Lt. Laurie Freeborn, medical platoon leader and operations officer with Task Force Red Dragon.
The course demonstrated life-saving medical techniques and strategies, as well as familiarization with the IFAK, a medical pack issued to all U.S. Soldiers that are deployed in a combat environment.
The U.S. service members imparted their knowledge about the IFAK with their Japanese partners.
“The way we train is we use the patients IFAK first, then we start using the medical equipment that we have,” said Sgt.1st Class Alton Sturdifen, a medical platoon sergeant with Task Force Red Dragon.
TC3 is a 40-hour course that covers the three basic functions required to help sustain the life of injured allies on the battlefield. The first step is care under fire, where individuals figure out the best way to sustain the life of those that have been injured while taking gun fire from the enemy. The next step is tactical field care, where the soldier provides more careful treatment, followed by tactical evacuation care. In the third step, the Soldier prepares the injured ally to be moved to a safe location for advanced medical treatment.