BLUEFIELDS, Nicaragua – --
In mid-July, Marines and sailors of Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Continuing Promise 2010 traveled from Virginia and North Carolina to journey south to support humanitarian operations in Central and South America. They have endured scorching heat and incredible humidity in Haiti, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Nicaragua serving as translators and taking part in subject-matter expert exchanges. In such hot climes, it is necessary for Marines to be prepared for any situation.
Marines with Marine Air Control Squadron 2, Command Element of Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Continuing Promise 2010 attended the Combat Life Saver training aboard the USS Iwo Jima while operating off the coast of Bluefields, Nicaragua, Sept. 20-24. Marines learned how to assist corpsmen during mass-casualty situations and render aid to fellow troops in the absence of a corpsman.
The purpose of CLS is to provide a bridge between the basic first aid taught to every Marine and the advanced medical training a corpsmen or combat medic receives. The CLS training gives corpsmen the opportunity to teach Marines and sailors valuable skills that can help save lives.
“It’s always important for Marines to go through CLS because sometimes corpsmen aren’t always around, and if we go down ourselves, it will help the situation if someone else knows what to do,” said Seaman Apprentice Andrew G. Nolan, hospitalman, a corpsman with Company A, 2nd Assault Amphibian Battalion, Ground Combat Element of Special-Purpose MAGTF and head CLS instructor.
The class increases a Marine’s ability to catch the signs and symptoms of a serious injury before it becomes fatal, said Nolan, native of Rome, Ga.
During the power-point lectures, Marines didn’t just sit around and listen to what the instructors had to say. They got hands-on training on how to care for heat casualties, sucking chest wounds, and applying pressure dressing and tourniquets.
“I liked the practical application of everything we learned because it was good that we were able to use the gear that we will use in a real-life situation,” said Sgt. Xavier W. Wethington, native of Brunswick, Ga., and air-traffic control specialist with MACS-2.
Marines with Company A, 2nd Assault Amphibian Battalion, Ground Combat Element; and Combat Logistics Regiment 27, Logistics Combat Element, Special-Purpose MAGTF are scheduled to attend the CLS training during the remainder of the deployment to the Caribbean, Central and South America.