SOUDA BAY, Crete (May 25, 2011) – Sailors from the U.S., Royal Morocco and Mauritania naval forces sharpened their essential skills in basic combat first aid during Phoenix Express 2011 (PE-11), a multi-national maritime exercise designed to enhance regional maritime partnerships.
“What we are doing here today is basic first aid training,” said U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class David Openshaw, lead medical instructor and a member of the Utah National Guard. “Most of the countries that come here already have their own style of training. All we want to do is broaden their understanding and show them what we do.”
The medical training will continue through the entire course of PE-11, a three-week evolution divided into in-port and underway training phases, and will include practical, as well as classroom, training.
“This is great training,” said U.S. Navy Cmdr. John Quigley, Medical Corps, the senior medical officer for PE-11. Quigley is a reserve component member from Sixth Fleet reserve detachment 802 out of Navy Operational Support Center Atlanta. “We are here giving all of our multinational partners a broader understanding of basic first aid so that when we are working together we will all have the same knowledge.”
The training covered basic first aid, specifically the “ABC’s” – how to check an airway, breathing and circulation – as well as how to apply tourniquets and how to stop a sucking chest wound.
“This training has been very good. We are here to learn and this training will help our troops,” said Royal Moroccan Navy Maj. Afkir Said, a MIO unit team leader.
Maritime and land forces from 13 countries are participating in the international military partnering exercise, which commenced at the NATO Maritime Interdiction Operations Training Center here on May 23, and which will culminate in a six-day underway portion in the Mediterranean Sea. PE-11 is a unique training opportunity designed to enhance each country’s ability to work together and to deter illicit trafficking at sea.
U.S. units participating in PE-11 will include USS Robert G. Bradley (FFG 49), USS Stephen W. Groves (FFG 29), and Military Sealift Command maritime prepositioning ship USNS LCPL Roy M. Wheat (T-AK 3016) and fleet replenishment oiler USNS Big Horn (T-AO 198). They are joined by Royal Morocco navy frigate Hassan II, along with two MIO boarding teams. Additional U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa staff personnel will also participate alongside other international naval forces in this exercise.
For more news from Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe -U.S. Naval Forces Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet, visit http://www.navy.mil/local/naveur/.