PACIFIC OCEAN --
More than 60 service members with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit’s maritime raid force learned tactical combat casualty care aboard the amphibious transport dock New Orleans Nov. 28 to Dec. 4.
The course taught Marines techniques hospital corpsmen use to treat battlefield trauma, from applying tourniquets and intravenous needles to treating chest wounds and blast injuries.
“Most of the time it’s Marines taking care of Marines,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class David Coenen, 32, who hails from Ridgecrest, Calif. “The most important thing is to make sure each person to your left and right can take care of you and that you can take care of yourself.”
Coenen is an amphibious reconnaissance corpsman and the lead instructor for the course.
“This training allows the Marines to act as corpsmen,” said Staff Sgt. Adam Najar, a 28-year-old Hesperia, Calif., native. “It frees up the corpsman to triage patients and take care of the more severe injuries.”
In May 2010, while on a patrol in Garmsir District, Afghanistan, a Marine in Najar’s platoon was sweeping a building for improvised explosive devices when he stepped on a pressure plate and set off a bomb.
“The Marines and corpsmen were on him in an instant,” said Najar, a platoon sergeant with the raid force. “Their quick reaction and prior training is the reason he survived.”
The Marines will continue to train and take medical classes throughout the deployment, added Najar.
The unit embarked USS Makin Island, USS New Orleans and USS Pearl Harbor in San Diego Nov. 14, beginning a seven-month deployment to the Western Pacific and Middle East regions.