Monday, February 15, 2010
Cpl Lucy Marrow Combat Medical Technician
I normally train US soldiers in battlefield first aid but we’ve been building up for Op Moshtarak for a few days now, thoroughly checking our medical kits and the equipment in the vehicle. I’ve been training the Gurkha soldiers from the Logistics Regiment here in Camp Bastion as they load up all the supplies ready for the next phase of the operation. Now all the excitement of the helicopter drops is over it is up to these guys on the ground to keep the momentum going.
It has given me the chance to work in A&E at the Camp Bastion hospital, working on casualties and practicing my clinical skills. We don’t normally do this but my Squadron took the opportunity to filter us through the hospital to gain additional experience.
I’ve been out on several Combat Logistic Patrols, working from a Mastiff ambulance that can carry one stretcher casualty. It’s the same as any other Mastiff out here, but inside it is fitted out like a Battlefield Ambulance – so it can carry oxygen and has places for all our medical equipment. I used to be apprehensive when I went out but the Mastiff is a tough vehicle and I have already survived one IED strike where the Mastiff was slightly damaged but my team walked away without a scratch!
The Gurkhas are great guys. Being a girl they really look after me – if I need the toilet they will clear a path out to some cover for me so I can have some privacy. Other than that I’m treated pretty much like the lads.
Everyone is ready to go out there and support what the Royal Welsh and Afghan soldiers have achieved so far. Word is that the first two days have been easier than expected but they will need more rations and other vital supplies to keep going so we have been given notice to be ready to move any time from now.