Marines assist with blast injury course in Cambodia
PHNOM PENH, Cambodia -- Members of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and the Cambodian Mine Action Centre graduated from a two-week medical course at the National Center for Peacekeeping Forces, Mine and Explosive Remnants of War Clearance, Aug. 30.
Personnel with III Marine Expeditionary Force taught the students valuable medical skills, such as tourniquet application and airway management, for use near minefields and unexploded ordnance as part of the U.S. humanitarian mine action program.
"I thank the students for having patience and sharing their knowledge with us," said Joe Groves, the chief instructor with the III MEF tactical medical simulation center.
Instructors taught the members how to control hemorrhaging, manage the airway, and treat chest injuries, according to Groves.
The U.S. humanitarian mine action program is designed to relieve human suffering and develop indigenous mine-action capabilities by partnering U.S. Department of State entities with local governments and develop a specific humanitarian mine action program.
Once students completed training, they attended a graduation ceremony sponsored by U.S. Pacific Command and the National Center for Peacekeeping Forces, Mine and Explosive Remnants of War Clearance.
"It was very encouraging to see such support for the graduation," said Marine Maj. William H. Nash, the humanitarian mine action program manager for U.S. PACOM. "The leadership of the Cambodian government, the U.S. Embassy and U.S. PACOM worked together to coordinate everything involved with the training that was conducted over the past two weeks."
The training for the students was only one part of the overall goal.
"The most important part is that the students will now become the trainers for medical personnel in the future," said Groves.
The Cambodian government plans to continue providing training to Cambodian personnel, according to Cambodian Armed Forces Brig. Gen. Sor Savy, the deputy director of the center. With help from U.S. PACOM, the newly trained instructors will impart knowledge to their fellow service members.
Having a thoroughly trained staff base would not have been possible without the Cambodian government taking action.
"The Cambodian government asked for help with making self-sufficient medical and explosive ordnance disposal units to combat their mine and unexploded ordnance issues," said Nash. "They worked hard to make it happen. With this graduation, they are on their way to being able to clear their country and help other countries."
This knowledge will be continuously used both throughout Cambodia and on U.N. peacekeeping missions, according to Savy.