In late October Special Operations Forces troops finished a tactical casualty course training in Lithuania. The Lithuanian Special Operations Forces, the U.S. Special Operations Command Europe (SACEUR) and the U.S. Special Operations Forces partnered to co-organize a higher level complex Tactical Combat Casualty Care training.
During the exercise, the training audience were deepening their theoretical knowledge of casualty care in combat, and learned practical skills and actions in realistically simulated situations. Whole blood transfusion procedure was particularly focused on: it is a procedure that is performed on combat casualties – death of blood loss as a result of injury is the most common cause of death on the battlefield. If the bleeding is stopped in an qualified way, the transfused blood restores vital functions of the patient.
Held twice this year already, the event taught and trained over 60 servicemembers from 7 countries. Special Operations Forces from Lithuania, U.S., Poland, Latvia and Estonia, as well as Special Operations Forces troops from Georgia and Ukraine invited by initiative of the Lithuanian colleagues, trained tactical combat casual care under supervision of over a ten Lithuanian and U.S. instructors.
“The theoretical part was designed to teach and answer every question the trainees might have, while the situations in the practical part were modelled to make the servicemembers take decisions at short notice in diverse situations,” a Lithuanian SOF instructor told about the exercise.
“It was rather difficult. The course demanded constant attention and quite some physical efforts. Psychological fatigue was also there because we were constantly faced with situations involving an injured or killed comrade or multiple casualties, limited resources, and hard decisions have to be made – who gets evacuated, who gets the medicine or blood first… However, this course has shown me the importance of tactical medical knowledge and skills and that a week of training is enough to attain the ability to administer the proper aid and make better decisions amidst a real battle,” one of the exercise participants said.
The Lithuanian Special Operations Forces has a validated and integrated tactical medical care course that meets international standards. “The Lithuanian SOF are leaders in the region in tactical medicine training and we seek to share our experience with partners and allies,” says a Lithuanian SOF medical officer. “The complex character of this training is necessary for forming adequate skills and preventing mistakes which would cost human lives on a battlefield. The efficiency of such training comes from top expert medical personnel who transfer their experience.”