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Recon learns lifesaving lessons

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Medical awareness was an essential element to accomplishing the mission for reconnaissance Marines of Company B, 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, as they scrutinized their response to improvised explosive devices during convoy training operations at K-2 Combat Town, Nov. 12.

The convoy moved through dirt roads where mock IEDs exploded during an ambush.

“This is to see our reaction after the explosion,” said Cpl. Michael Kempker, a point man with Co. B. “Someone in the convoy gets injured by the blast and we have to find a safe place to treat him.”

Once at a safe location, Marines followed instructions from a Navy corpsman to treat common injuries seen from IED attacks.

“It’s important for them to know what procedure to follow because if something were to happen to me whether I get killed, or injured in a way I can’t help, they will be able to treat me or anyone else who needs it,” said Seaman James Raffetto, a corpsman with Co. B.

The recon Marines learned how to treat the specific injury each of their patients had during practical applications in a simulated combat zone.

“The main thing is to acknowledge the life-threatening injuries and stabilize the casualty,” said Raffetto.

Marines explained the importance of knowing what to do and doing it in a fast manner.

“Every second counts in this type of situation, so we rehearse and rehearse to change any minor problems to help us in the future,” said Lance Cpl. Ben Eiden, an assistant radio operator with Co. B.

Some Marines took away from the training more than just medical application or how to look for an IED in the bushes, explained Eiden.

“I’ve learned from this training that you have to be selfless, because it’s not about you at all, and I think other Marines here think the same,” said Eiden.

This exercise is part of the company’s predeployment training for Afghanistan sometime next year.

“This is a big part of the mission,” Eiden said.  “To keep everybody alive and safe is a part of a puzzle in the big picture. If we take care of this aspect, move smartly through terrain and learn how to do medical evacuation, it will all accumulate to the mission’s accomplishment.”

The Marines are scheduled to train on a daily basis until they’re ready for deployment. 

“This type of training is going to help bring everybody home,” said Eiden.