The Southern Partnership Station (SPS) 2019 Medical Engagement Team (MET) conducted their final mass casualty drill with Peruvian military medical personnel, October 21, culminating a month-long series of subject matter expert exchanges (SMEE) and field exercises.
The U.S. and Peruvian medics conducted training on a variety of life-saving skills, including tactical combat casualty care (TCCC), massive hemorrhage control, patient movement, and water and waste treatment. The MET also used the “train the trainer” concept, teaching several Peruvian medics to act as instructors.
“The ‘train the trainer’ concept we utilized will allow the Peruvian military to continue with training their service members in these tactical trauma care concepts, creating a medical force multiplier,” said U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander Loren Nedelman, from Naval Branch Health Clinic Annapolis, the MET officer in charge.
“This was a great experience for me, my fellow service members, and my country,” said Peruvian Navy Chief Warrant Officer Cilvio Moran Andrade. “As trained instructors, we can now provide our personnel with better knowledge to save their own lives and the lives of others, if necessary. We can now share these skills with all of our other units, even after our American partners return home. This interaction between our countries is a great benefit to our military.”
The Peruvian military was not the only one to gain from the interactions. The MET agreed that they learned much from their Latin American counterparts, and that training with foreign partners is key when operating together during real-world missions.
“Bringing their medical capabilities in line with our own will ensure that when we operate jointly, whether during exercises or humanitarian and disaster relief response, a common medical language will be spoken,” Lt. Cmdr. Nedelman said. “Utilizing the knowledge gained and shared during our mission ensures our ability to enhance cooperation and allows for us to build one team for one fight.”
Several commandos from the Peruvian military direct-action troops participated in the training and mass casualty drill. They said that the training was “very beneficial and helpful in refreshing skills that we routinely use when on mission.”
“This training was very important because the Americans brought us new techniques and helped us update our skills,” said Peruvian Marine Corps Chief Warrant Officer Abelino Benites Illescas. “We are pretty good at first aid, but this training will make us even better at tactical field care.”
The Peruvian participants put the skills they learned into practice during the exercise. The mass casualty drill involved treatment of a large group of service members with simulated injuries such as lacerations, fractures, penetrating injuries, burns, and shock.
SPS is an annual series of U.S. Navy deployments focused on exchanges with regional partner nation militaries and security forces. SPS 19 consists of fly-away deployments of adaptive force packages to Barbados, Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, and Peru to conduct training and SMEEs to improve capacity in medical, dive operations, and engineering.
SPS is part of U.S. Southern Command’s Enduring Promise initiative and reflects the United States’ enduring promise of friendship, partnership, and solidarity with the Caribbean, Central and South America.