Yereva, Armenia –
U.S. Army Soldiers made history this summer by bringing the
Army’s Health Care Specialist School and
Army Basic Instructor Course to the Armenian armed forces.
Mobile training teams from U.S. Army Medical Department
Center and School at Fort Sam Houston and the U.S. Army Security Assistance
Training Management Organization at Fort
Bragg, N.C., deployed to Armenia’s capital of Yerevan June 2 through Sept. 2.
“The goal was to establish a combat medic school within the
Armenian military,” said Capt. Chris Hudson, the mobile training team officer
in charge. “We taught the entire 68 Whiskey (Health Care Specialist) Advanced
Individual Training course from day one through graduation to the Armenian
Hudson said AMEDDC&S instructors provided Armenian
soldiers the same level of training U.S. troops receive in becoming qualified health
The Armenian students, who are expected to stand up their
military’s first combat medic school in January, learned to administer
emergency medical treatment to battlefield casualties; prepare patients for
evacuation to next level of care, manage equipment and supplies for patient
care and many other skills that has made the U.S. military a leader in saving
lives on the battlefield.
“This enables the 12 Armenian instructors to develop their
own program of instruction for medic training that will best suit their needs
in the future and will be a great force multiplier for generations to come,”
said Master Sgt. Efrem Dicochea, an AMEDDC&S advanced training branch chief
instructor who served as the mobile training team NCO in charge.
Helping a partner nation build a program as complex as a
combat medic school from the ground up meant teaching in phases.
successfully completed Phase One of the training, a four-man SATMO mobile
training team arrived to teach Phase Two, the modified Army Basic Instructor
Course. Upon completion of ABIC, students become qualified Army instructors.
According to Hudson, being an expert combat medic is one
thing; being an instructor and teaching others how to be a medic is a different
“It was the train-the-trainer methodology,” Hudson said.
“The Armenians will now be trainers and subject matter experts, able to
establish their school and have the capacity to train 50-60 medics at a time.”
ABIC instructor Sgt. 1st Class Romeo Santos said he benefitted
greatly from the experience, learning as much from the students as he
“We’ve definitely made lasting friendships with the
students,” Santos said. “They gave us their time and patience, and the cultural
gap really didn’t exist after the first day.”
Fellow ABIC instructor Sgt. 1st Class Johnny Gonzales agreed
and said everyone benefits on the battlefield from shared knowledge.
“It’s the continuity of care,” Gonzales said. “Whoever gets
injured, or whatever medic comes upon them-either Armenian or U.S. Soldier-that
person would receive quality care right on point of injury.”
Hudson, SATMO engagement branch team leader, accompanied
both training teams to
Having conducted five previous mobile training team
deployments, Hudson provided the transitional expertise and continuity.
Phase three of the training, which is slated for 2016, will
deploy U.S. observer/controllers to evaluate the first class of Armenian medics
at their new school.
“These troops will probably be a part of NATO peacekeeping
forces and in order to deploy units for NATO missions, they must train to NATO
standards, so they’ll have a corps of medics that are NATO qualified,” said
The benefit to the U.S. Army is an increased interoperability
that is the trademark of security assistance operations. For SATMO, deploying
MTTs like this showcase their motto: “Training the World, one Soldier at a
SATMO is a subordinate organization to the U.S. Army
Security Assistance Command,
headquartered at Redstone Arsenal, Ala.