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Army September 27, 2012
PERSONNEL preparing for
Combined Team Uruzgan 4 (CTU 4)
completed a vital component of their
Afghanistan pre-deployment training
in Darwin from August 13-16.
Four Care of the Battle Casualty
(CBC) courses were run by a team led
by Health Force Preparation officer
Maj Belinda O'Brien, of HQ 1 Div.
A total of 420 personnel from
CTU 4, Force Support Unit 7, Force
Communications Unit 8 and Artillery
Training Advisery Team 2 completed
the one-day course, which teaches life-
saving first aid skills and trains troops
in medical equipment they may need
during their deployment.
"During the morning of the course
participants were given instruction
in the theoretical side of CBC," Maj
"This included care under fire,
tactical field care and the process of
sending casualty information over
radio networks via a nine-liner mes-
"After this participants moved
onto a rotating skills-station exercise,
where they were taught how to practi-
cally use the combat application tour-
niquet, quick-clot gauze, the emergen-
cy bandage and the nasopharyngeal
The afternoon session placed small
groups of four personnel in body
armour into combat-like rural and
town-based scenarios, where they had
to treat and stop a catastrophic haem-
orrhage to save a life.
The scenarios were made even
more difficult for participants as
their hard work was conducted in the
Darwin heat and under simulated com-
"They were put though two mini
lanes, where they had to perform
under a simulated battlefield environ-
ment. Effects included explosions
using pyrotechnics and non-pyrotech-
nic walls, which depicted enemy firing
in their direction," Maj O'Brien said.
"While they were under fire they
had to continue to return fire and sup-
press the enemy, at the same time
treating a casualty suffering from cata-
strophic haemorrhage, who had either
been struck by a round or fragmenta-
tion from an IED."
The training was an essential com-
ponent of CTU 4's pre-deployment
education and most of the participants,
such as HQ operator administration
LCpl Justine Peronchik, found the
afternoon practical session both physi-
cally and mentally demanding.
"The course was quite difficult, as
everyone put on their body armour,
carried a weapon and went out on a
small patrol," LCpl Peronchik said.
"I was lucky enough to be chosen
Sgt Andrew Hetherington joins soldiers
preparing to deploy to Afghanistan as they learn
how to keep a casualty alive in a firefight.
to be a section commander with two
majors in my section and when our
casualty was shot in the leg I had to
give them orders to bring the section
"It was a hot day, a difficult situ-
ation to deal with and I learnt how I
would react in the real-life situation.
Luckily in this case my training auto-
matically kicked in and we success-
fully saved a life."
Maj O'Brien said the training was
not designed to be easy.
"The six minutes spent in the practi-
cal training scenario lanes definitely
made them realise how difficult it was
to return fire while treating and drag-
ging a casualty out of danger," she said.
"It was tough work and a lot of
them didn't expect this activity to be
so physically demanding."
Check out the full photo gallery online at
How to patch and shoot
Stress test: A member of CTU 4 provides covering fire while another soldier applies emergency first aid during
the Care of the Battle Casualty course at Robertson Barracks.
Photo by AB James Whittle
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