From the event

10 May. 2008

PR# 2008-189

ISAF teaches MEDEVAC principles to ANAC

KABUL, Afghanistan – Pilots and medics with the Afghan National Air Corps (ANAC) conducted MEDEVAC training with ISAF soldiers of Task Force Bayonet at Jalalabad Air Field Apr. 28.

The Combined Air Power Transition Force, working in conjunction with Task Force Eagle Assault soldiers, is training Afghan medics in order to stand up an ANAC MEDEVAC Air Ambulance program.

Task Force Eagle Assault began training ANA pilots and medics in December 2007 and the ANAC MEDEVAC team flew their first joint mission Jan. 31.

“This MEDEVAC training is [a] top priority for the ANA Air Corps, right after their first priority, presidential transport,” said Commander Joey Swartz, senior medical advisor for the Afghan National Air Corps.

This is an evolution for the ANAC, enabling Afghans to take care of Afghans, said Cmdr. Swartz. Whether the casualty is an Afghan soldier, policeman or civilian, the ANAC will soon be capable of flying independent MEDEVAC missions.

“The message being delivered today is we have to get this going,” said Cmdr. Swartz. “When the ANA see the ANA taking care of their own, it will have a powerful impact and make the ANA a legitimate military unit.”

A total of eight ANAC flight medics will receive three weeks of individual hands-on training and instruction from Task Force Eagle Assault medics and pilots. Currently, ANAC medic, Sergeant Hussain Ahmad Rezai, 20, is participating in the flight medic training.

“Once I learn the MEDEVAC job from the flight medics, I think I will be a good flight medic trainer for other ANAC medics,” said Sgt. Rezai, who has been a medic for two years.

ANAC helicopter pilot, Captain Qimuddin, a pilot for 20 years, said he was happy to be learning new MEDEVAC techniques from the pilots and medics, and extremely excited for the official formation of a full-time ANAC flight MEDEVAC unit.

“This is a huge win for the ANA, the Air Corps and specifically MEDEVAC,” said Maj. J. Steven Birchfield, Task Force Bayonet brigade surgeon. “For the first time, the ANA has rapid medical evacuation capabilities. The lives they save today are the beginning of a very bright future.”

Contact Information ISAF Public Affairs Office
Tel: +93 (0)799 51 1155 - Mobile: 0093 (0) 799 55 8291 pressoffice@hq.isaf.nato.int - www.nato.int/isaf/