Photo Information

Seaman Stephen L. Johnson, corpsman, Shock Trauma Platoon, Combat Logistics Co. 19, hoists a patient into an ambulance during a drill at Camp Sinjar, Nov. 10. The drill was conducted to test the readiness of the corpsmen of the STP and the Forward Resuscitative Surgical Support on Camp Sinjar.

Photo by Cpl. Sean P. McGinty

Medical personnel in Nineweh ensure readiness on Sinjar

10 Nov 2008 | Cpl. Sean P. McGinty

Even on the forward operating base of Camp Sinjar, these Navy medical personnel continue to train how they fight.

 The Sailors of Combat Logistics Company 19’s Forward Resuscitative Surgical Support and Shock Trauma Platoon came to Camp Sinjar to support Operation Defeat al-Qaida in the North II and they are continuing to ensure their medical readiness for the operations to come.

 “We’re here to provide heath and medical support to the (Marine Air Ground Task Force) and any incoming patients,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class O’Dell L. Barley, Fleet Marine corpsman, STP, CLC-19.

 The staff of the FRSS and STP planned a drill and borrowed two Marines from CLC-19’s military police company to pose as casualties.  The call came to the corpsmen that there was an incident at one of Camp Sinjar’s entry control points, and they responded immediately.

 Once the Marines and Sailors arrived back to the FRSS and STP compound, the corpsmen began immediately to stabilize the wounded marines.  The corpsmen inserted intra-venous fluids, applied field-dressings, and did their best to calm the actors.

 “The corpsmen excelled in their communication, individual roles, and especially their teamwork,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Edward M. Swaray, a 33-year-old leading petty officer with the STP.

 One of the Marine’s simulated wounds required that his leg be amputated above the knee.  The corpsmen of the STP went as far as prepping the Marine for surgery, and the lead surgeon of the FRSS made imaginary incisions and tested his corpsmen’s familiarity with the surgical room.

 “We overcome our shortcomings through muscle memory.  We obtain that muscle memory through drills like today,” said Swaray, from Philadelphia, Penn.  “We practice hard over and over until it becomes second nature.”

 If a combat casualty arrives to the STP alive, they will go to the next level of care alive 98 percent of the time, said Barley, from Atlantic City, N.J.

 “There are a lot of new corpsmen here, and a lot of these corpsmen are corking with the Marines for the first time,” said Swaray.  “That being said, they’re all doing a great job.”

 One of the strongest traits in the FRSS and STP that helps achieve mission success is the teamwork the corpsmen display, stressed Barley.

 “When something happens that needs our attention, the corpsmen come together to get the job done,” said Barley.  “And it helps that we’ve got great people to work with and rely on.”

 “After today I feel like our corpsmen five me the biggest chance of survival,” said Cpl Hunter T. Snyder, a 22-year-old machine gunner, Military Police Company, CLC-19.  “They reacted quickly and they did a great job.”