Friday, June 4, 2010


The first line of medical support in Helmand

A Military Operations news article

4 Jun 10

Lance Corporal Michael 'Doc' McLoughlin is the first line of medical support for the soldiers of C Squadron, Royal Dragoon Guards, who are currently operating as a ground-holding infantry unit in Afghanistan.

Lance Corporal McLoughlin cleans a cut on a local boy's hand

Lance Corporal McLoughlin cleans a cut on a local boy's hand with the water from his CamelBak drinking system
[Picture: Corporal Barry Lloyd RLC, Crown Copyright/MOD 2010]

Lance Corporal McLoughlin is part of the Royal Army Medical Corps. He is currently attached to the Royal Dragoon Guards, serving on the front line in the southern district of Nad 'Ali.

The patrol base in which they live is some two kilometres from any other ISAF locations. It regularly comes under fire from insurgents, as do the soldiers who patrol the surrounding area to provide protection and security for the local villagers.

LCpl McLoughlin said:

"As a medic within the infantry, I'm an infantry soldier when I'm out on the ground but I carry a lot of medical equipment with me in case my skills are needed.

"So I'm kind of dual-traded in a way. I do their job, but I also do a trade of my own."

LCpl McLoughlin spends most of his time out on patrol. It is his job to provide the immediate life-saving first aid to soldiers if the worst should happen....

Yes, I do love our medics. Read more about one of my favourite frontline troops here.

In a related story from January 2010:

TA medics prepare for Afghanistan

A Training and Adventure news article

11 Jan 10

Reservist Army medics from 207 Field Hospital (Volunteers) have completed the latest phase in a training cycle building towards a probable deployment to Afghanistan during 2010.

Members of 207 Field Hospital training for deployment to  Afghanistan

Members of 207 Field Hospital training for deployment to Afghanistan
[Picture: Chris Barker, Crown Copyright/MOD 2009]

Although still to be confirmed, the unit is scheduled to deploy to Helmand province in the later part of the year to take control of the state-of-the-art British military hospital at Camp Bastion.

The hospital is manned by Territorial Army medics - medical professionals who lead double lives, serving in the Army in their spare time from normal, everyday civilian jobs, generally employed in NHS hospitals or other medical practices.

The men and women of 207 Field Hospital, which is one of two TA field hospitals based in North West England, expect to get the call to man the Helmand hospital for up to three months and, in preparation, the unit is now deep into a pre-deployment training programme.

This included a recent 36-hour intensive test at the British Army's medical training centre at Strensall near York.

207 Field Hospital has its headquarters in Stretford, Manchester, and additional training bases in Blackburn, Bury, Ashton-under-Lyne and Stockport.

Colonel Deepak Bhatnagar

Colonel Deepak Bhatnagar checks on his patient's progress
[Picture: Chris Barker, Crown Copyright/MOD 2009]

Among the soldiers from the unit training at Strensall was Major Sharon Stewart, aged 41. She is a mother-of-three who works as the acting general manager of Euxton Hall Hospital. She said:

"It is essential for soldiers to know that our facility is there should they ever need it. We provide assurance that when they go out on the ground, they know that should the worst happen, our hospital is there, close at hand, for them to be transferred to and get excellent care.

"We have all the departments you would expect to find in a normal hospital - an A&E department, theatre, pathology, X-ray, physio, intensive treatment and the wards.

"For me, this is about doing something worthwhile for your country. Not everyone has the opportunity to be called upon to do something for their country and to support our soldiers out on operations."...

More here.

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