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Petty Officer 3rd Class Theressa Jenson, a participant in the combat Life Saver Course, administers an IV to Seaman Apprentice Joshua Duran at Naval Station Rota, Spain. Seventy-three sailors and Marines took part in the three-day course administered by six volunteer Army reservists from the 7th Army Reserve Command, Medical Support Unit from Heidelberg, Germany.
Petty Officer 3rd Class Theressa Jenson, a participant in the combat Life Saver Course, administers an IV to Seaman Apprentice Joshua Duran at Naval Station Rota, Spain. Seventy-three sailors and Marines took part in the three-day course administered by six volunteer Army reservists from the 7th Army Reserve Command, Medical Support Unit from Heidelberg, Germany. (Kristine DeHoux / Courtesy of U.S. Navy)

Ordinarily, sailors and Marines from Combined Task Force 68 aren’t on the front lines providing medical treatment to wounded comrades.

But, after a three-day training session last week at Naval Station Rota, Spain, if called on, they’ll be ready, officials said.

Six soldiers from the Medical Support Unit-Europe of the Germany-based 7th Army Reserve Command volunteered to teach the Combat Life Saver Course and train the group to handle combat casualties they might encounter when deployed downrange.

“The combat life saver acts as a ‘go between,’ and can buy an injured person the extra time needed for a combat medic to arrive,” Sgt. 1st Class Jonathon Cureton, the course coordinator, said in a statement.

The training covered areas from emergency medical care to care under fire, tactical field care and prevention of shock, according to a news release.

The current “buddy aid” that deploying sailors and Marines receive now might not be enough, Cureton said. The three-day training, held in Rota, provided the 73 participating sailors and Marines with hands-on experience and practical training, including starting intravenous solution lines on one another.

With today’s improved protective gear, warfighters are surviving attacks that might have otherwise killed their predecessors, but increasingly suffer from wounds to their arms and legs.

Sailors from CTF-68 routinely provide security aboard Navy and merchant ships and aircraft throughout the Mediterranean. The Marines assigned to Marine Corps Security Force Company-Europe deploy to anywhere in the region. For example, Marines in Rota augmented those at the American Embassy in Beirut in August and September when warbroke out between Lebanon and Israel.

“I’m getting a lot of experience that I’ll be able to use to help my fellow Marines in a real world situation,” Sgt. Richard Reece, of the 3rd FAST Company, 3rd Platoon, said. The company is deployed to Rota from Norfolk, Va. “It’s just another tool for my tool belt to, hopefully, save a life.”

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