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NEWS | July 2, 2024

TF Paxton medic trains Kenyan soldiers on tactical combat casualty care

By Staff Sgt. Jonathan Campbell

In an ongoing effort to bolster relations between U.S. and Kenyan military forces, U.S. Army medical, US Air Force Fire Fighting, and other U.S. military personnel facilitated a three-day training event May 27-29, 2024, with Kenyan Rangers and Infantrymen at Kenya Navy Base Manda Bay.

The country’s proximity to Somalia and the threat of enemy militants crossing the Kenya-Somalia border requires Kenya’s soldiers to be proficient in Tactical Combat Casualty Care. TCCC is the basic level of lifesaving actions that can be taken during or after a firefight.

Over the course of the three days, the Kenyans were provided instruction to refresh or increase their knowledge and proficiency in these lifesaving skills. This instruction is particularly important as the two countries are expected to become major non-NATO allies.

The training was spearheaded by Cpl. Vince Bartolome, a medic with Task Force Paxton, 56th Stryker Brigade, Pennsylvania National Guard. Bartolome emphasized routinely practicing the methods of care being taught in order to maintain proficiency. Being skilled in these basic levels of care can save the life of the Kenyans and their fellow Soldiers, Bartolome said.

Included in the training was the order of care provided under fire, proper application of tourniquets, carrying methods for wounded soldiers, wound packing and dressing, where, how, and when to apply a needle chest decompression, and installation of a nasopharyngeal airway to aid in breathing. During the short course, the Kenyan Rangers and soldiers worked diligently, then ran through a culminating event that incorporated the different skills they had practiced.

“It was an honor having the opportunity to train our Kenyan brothers-in-arms," Bartolome said. "Although I hope that these skills will never have to be used, I know that these fighting men are now better equipped to save the lives of their comrades on the battlefield.”

The Kenyan Rangers and soldiers expressed their heartfelt thanks to their U.S. counterparts as the course ended. Several have seen combat up close. They have experienced enemy fire, and at least one of them has been shot multiple times and lived to talk about it.

The training they received may help save their fellow Soldier’s lives, a worthwhile goal for the US and Kenyans to continue working together to achieve.