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Army April 14, 2011
By LCpl Mark Doran
AMPUTEES were hired to add real-
ism to combat first aid training for
2RAR soldiers preparing to deploy
to Afghanistan as part of MTF 3.
Designed for soldiers deploy-
ing into a high-threat environment,
Exercise Primary Survey, held at
Lavarack Barracks on March 9, is
now mandatory pre-deployment train-
ing for force elements.
The clinical teaching environment
uses competency skill-stations, mini-
lanes and large battle-lanes that create
complex battle scenarios involving
multiple injuries and wounds.
Commanders of all ranks were
required to resolve the complex tac-
tical scenarios at the same time as
meeting the clinical requirements for
saving lives on the battlefield.
SO1 Health Plans and Operations
Maj Nicholas Beeson said the main
aim of Ex Primary Survey was to
avoid preventable deaths on opera-
"The key focus is ensuring all
members of the battlegroup have con-
fidence in the ability of the combat
first aiders, medics, nurses and doc-
tors to save their lives if the worst was
to happen," Maj Beeson said.
"The training is delivered through
a well-fostered relationship between
Defence and civilian industry by
using Cubic Defence Australia and
Care Flight to provide battle effects
simulation and specialist clinical trau-
Ex Primary Survey is seen as an
extra opportunity to practise junior
leadership at the section and platoon
level and provides clinical up-skilling
to all the soldiers within a battlegroup.
The rigorous training used role-
playing actors, some of them ampu-
tees, and helped replicate conditions
and situations likely to be faced by
troops serving in Afghanistan.
CO 2RAR Lt-Col Chris Smith
said Ex Primary Survey was vital
to ensuring soldiers were confi-
dent that should they be wounded,
the medical care they would receive,
whether still in contact with the
enemy or not, would give them the
best possible chance of surviving
"The realism used in the train-
ing scenarios will minimise the initial
shock soldiers might experience when
confronted with traumatic wounds in
Afghanistan," Lt-Col Smith said.
"Soldiers will have to expect that
such incidents could involve their
friends, colleagues and civilians."
MTF 3 is primarily made up of
2RAR soldiers from Townsville's
3 Bde and will deploy in the middle
of this year.
The task force will provide ongo-
ing mentoring and development sup-
port to the Afghan National Army's
4th Bde by engaging in mentoring,
reconstruction and security operations
in Uruzgan province.
Managing medical mayhem
Emergency room: Soldiers from 2RAR treat wounded civilians, some played by actors with genuine amputations, during Ex Primary Survey. Gnr
Cameron Smith (inset) provides first aid during an activity.
Photos by Fiona Harding, Townsville Bulletin
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