November 30, 2004

Virginia National Guard and U.S. Army Central Command provide medical seminar to Tajik Armed Forces

DUSHANBE, TAJIKISTAN - Six members of the Virginia National Guard Medical Detachment and officers from the U.S. Army Central Command provided military medical training to Tajik Armed Forces from Nov. 7 to 19. In addition to practical exercises, the training provided information on the U.S. Army's Combat Lifesaver Course and the Army's overall health service support system.

The seminar, led by Maj. Challis H. Smith, supported the developing relationship between the Virginia Army National Guard and the government of Tajikistan under the State Partnership Program, and was held at the Tajik Ministry of Defense's Military Institute in Dushanbe.  The "Level 1 Military Medical Support Training" results in the trainee becoming a "combat lifesaver." A combat lifesaver is a non-medical soldier trained to provide emergency care as a secondary mission. The combat lifesaver receives training in enhanced first aid procedures and other medical procedures such as initiating an intravenous infusion.

This training is a bridge between first aid training given to all soldiers during basic training and the medical training given to combat medics. Upon completion of training, combat lifesavers can assist in providing immediate enhanced first aid and evacuating casualties. Tajik seminar attendees also provided information on their military health care system and expressed their desire to learn about other levels of medical care within the United States Army.

Smith complimented the participants for their willingness to share information and host a tour of their military medical facilities. Information sharing will continue through future visits and training.

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