From the event

24 Mar. 2009
PR# 2009-280

ISAF medics saving lives in Sangin

KABUL, Afghanistan - International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) medics at the Regimental Aid Post in the Sangin area of northern Helmand province provide life-saving services for ISAF and Afghan forces, as well as local civilians. The aid post, staffed by a team of four Combat Medics and a Medical Officer, has treated hundreds of civilians from the local area in addition to coalition and Afghan forces.

Royal Marines from 45 Commando provide the security forces operating out of Forward Operating Base (FOB) Jackson in the Sangin District Centre (DC) and a chain of smaller Patrol Bases. Their daily patrols, conducted in partnership with the Afghan National Security Forces, push out from the DC through the bazaar and commercial centre of the town and into the rural areas. They reassure the local population and provide the security bubble which is gradually allowing reconstruction, development and the spread of legitimate local governance.

Despite advances in the growing security, contact with the enemy still occurs and both members of ISAF and Afghan forces have required medical treatment from the Regimental Aid Post based at FOB Jackson. As the insurgents have adopted the use of indiscriminate improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and roadside bombs, the number of serious trauma wounds amongst civilians has also increased.

The team of four Combat Medics and their Medical Officer apply life-saving treatment before patients are airlifted to Camp Bastion Field Hospital, or moved to other local hospitals such as Bost Hospital in Lashkar Gah. The medics have also provided services to the local community by treating low level cases, such as children’s cuts and sores.

“We have had to deal with some bad injuries – the fighting has been fierce here, but the medics have worked incredibly hard,” said Medical Assistant Petty Officer Rab Pope, the practice manager for the FOB Jackson Regimental Aid Post. “On many occasions we have formed bonds with local people due to the follow-up treatment of their injuries and medical complaints. This is important as it helps all our forces operating in the area – we are here to win the consent of the local people, after all.”

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/