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African Sailors Learn Combat Lifesaver Skills Aboard Gunston Hall

January 1, 2010 at 11:48 AM UTC

USS GUNSTON HALL, At Sea – Sailors and Coast Guardsmen from Equatorial Guinea, The Gambia, Liberia, Senegal, and Sierra Leone took part in Combat Lifesaver (CLS) training April 16 – 20 aboard the Whidbey Island-class amphibious dock-landing ship USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44) as part of Africa Partnership Station (APS) West.

The training provided the basics of immediate care that could save a life. CLS skills are intended for use in combat, however, the skills may be applied to many situations.

USS GUNSTON HALL, At Sea – Sailors and Coast Guardsmen from Equatorial Guinea, The Gambia, Liberia, Senegal, and Sierra Leone took part in Combat Lifesaver (CLS) training April 16 – 20 aboard the Whidbey Island-class amphibious dock-landing ship USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44) as part of Africa Partnership Station (APS) West.

The training provided the basics of immediate care that could save a life. CLS skills are intended for use in combat, however, the skills may be applied to many situations.

Hospital Corpsman 1st Class (FMF) Jason Ashmeade, from Long Island, N.Y., course instructor, taught subjects including controlling bleeding, opening and managing airway restrictions and treating chest trauma to control shock. It was developed to increase survivability in situations where a combat medic or hospital corpsman may not be readily available.

“[The sailors] asked a lot of questions, were very attentive and participated well during the hands-on portions,” Ashmeade said.

In order to help close the gap with the language barrier, Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Osvaldo Rodriguez, from Puerto Rico, assigned to Beach Master Unit (BMU) 2, helped interpret the daily lessons for three sailors from Spanish-speaking Equatorial Guinea.

“This course is nothing new to me,” said Rodriguez. “I taught it to my team before we deployed. The sailors I helped interpret the lessons to had a lot of fun, especially with the practical’s.”

“Having an interpreter who is also a corpsman was extremely beneficial in helping me teach the course,” said Ashmeade.

Liberian coast guardsman James Akoi and Equatorial Guinean navy Lt. Severiano O Esono said they enjoyed the training.

“The class was very detailed,” said Akoi. “I’ve had training on the basics but nothing this in depth. It was good.”

“I’ve never had this training before,” said O Esono. “I will take what I learned back to my command and show the others.”

The training being conducted through APS West is designed to enhance professional development and provide a valuable motivational and instructional experience to increase the awareness of maritime safety and security.

Gunston Hall is on a scheduled deployment in West Africa in support of APS West, an international initiative developed by U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa that aims to improve maritime safety and security in Africa.

Story by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW/AW) John Stratton, Africa Partnership Station 2010 public affairs

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