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July 27, 2017
HE scorching Iraqi summer could not stop the
Iraqi Army’s 53 Bde, which endured a roast-
ing 48 degrees to train at the Taji Military
Complex near Baghdad.
Soldiers of 53 Bde are conducting reset training –
rebooting their military skills during a brief period of
Their lessons include the law of armed conflict
(LOAC) and combat basic life-saving first aid training
with Australian and New Zealand instructors from Task
Group Taji (TGT) 5.
TGT-5 Legal Officer Capt Jordan den Dulk said the
LOAC training was well received by the trainees.
“I am sobered by the stories of the Iraqi security forc-
es, many of these Iraqi soldiers I have trained have per-
sonally witnessed the brutality of Daesh,” Capt den Dulk
“They are aware of what constitutes appropriate and
legitimate use of force against Daesh.
“These briefs are an opportunity to reinforce those key
As part of the brigade’s reset training, the trainees
have also undertaken basic life-saving first aid training
which is designed to enhance soldier survivability on the
battlefield. TGT-5 medic Sgt Matthew Baker said the
Iraqi soldiers were appreciative of the techniques and new
equipment on which they were trained.
“It was fantastic to see how quickly the Iraqi soldiers
were able to apply the techniques,” Sgt Baker said.
“It has been a hard-won fight for the Iraqi Army in
places like Mosul, but they recognise that combat medical
training has given them a combat edge over Daesh.
“They have seen first-hand the benefits of effective
live-saving medical training.”
As part of the basic life-saving medical training, sol-
diers were introduced to the new combat tourniquets and
field wound dressings, which have already saved countless
lives in combat operations.
Commander TGT-5 Col Steve D’arcy said providing
combat support training such as LOAC and basic life-sav-
ing medical training was critical to the ongoing successes
of the Iraqi security forces.
“The Iraqi Army has proven itself to be a legitimate
and capable fighting force,” Col D’arcy said.
“Continued training in these areas reinforces those
aspects and supports their force sustainment into the
53 Bde will continue to train with Task Group Taji at
the Taji Military Complex until August when the brigade
will move out to continue security operations against
Task Group Taji 5 personnel have given the soldiers of Iraq’s 53
Bde a refresher course, Capt Michael Trainor reports.
AT FIRST glance you would think the
mass casualty exercise for Task Group
Taji (TGT) 5 personnel was the “real
While the injuries are fake, the sol-
diers taking part are Australian and New
Zealand medical staff from TGT-5’s
Health Coy deployed to Iraq as part of
The exercise was designed to test the
response time and emergency care pro-
cedures in the unlikely event of the task
group incurring casualty numbers that
overwhelmed usual resources.
OC Health Coy Lt-Col Nathan Flindt
said while the scenario was unlikely, the
task group maintained an emergency care
capability that was well-prepared, well-
equipped and well-staffed to manage any
scenarios that may be encountered.
“We are prepared for any emergency
or eventuality that may arise during our
deployment to Iraq and we ensure this by
regularly testing our capability,” Lt-Col
“The task group has some of the best
medical professionals in Australia and
New Zealand at our disposal.”
Director Clinical Services at the Taji
Military Hospital Lt-Col Ben Buston said
the hospital was well-drilled and well-pre-
pared for a range of medical emergencies
and was supported by additional facilities
in the theatre of operations.
“Supporting us is the US military hos-
pital in Baghdad which is able to provide
more complex emergency care if needed,”
Lt-Col Buston said.
“A key priority for us in the event of a
large scale medical emergency is the safe
transfer of selected patients to the US hos-
pital in Baghdad via aero-medical evacua-
“At our level we are focused on ini-
tial stabilisation, damage control surgery
and preparation for transfer of patients by
rotary wing AME.”
Preparing for mass
Sgt Matthew Baker
explains how to conduct
a full body survey to Iraqi
soldiers from the Officer
and Junior Leaders’
Photos: AB Chris Beerens
Capt Bradley Fitzwater and Lt Peter Thompson take observations during the
triage stage of a mass casualty exercise.
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