Hawaii reservists join Guam guardsmen to train AFP

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Phyllis Keith
  • 624th Regional Support Group Public Affairs
Medical personnel from the 624th Aeromedical Staging Squadron here joined forces with a medical detachment from the Guam Army National Guard, Fort Juan Muna, Barrigada, Guam, and members of the 926th Aerospace Medicine Squadron, Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, to travel to the Philippines for their annual training, March 18 to April 2, 2014.


The purpose of the mission was to partner with the guard and teach a medical first responder course to members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).


Senior Master Sgt. Ricarte Tadeo, superintendent of health services management for the 624th ASTS, said, "What the Guam Army National Guard is doing with this partnership is increasing their [AFP's] knowledge of being out in the field and saving each other while in combat."

He said that due to a lack of training, Philippine soldiers in combat would press on when someone got shot and the wounded would bleed to death.

"They can now do basic lifesaving techniques to increase survivability of their soldiers. They didn't know how to apply pressure. They didn't know that'll save a life," said Tadeo.

They also learned how to open airways, splint fractures, and treat eye injuries, he said.

Senior Master Sgt. Miller Picardal, a medical technician with the 624th ASTS, said the camaraderie between the Army guardsmen and Air Force reservists was good. He said that some of the Army's techniques are different from the Air Force's but they adapted. "For example, when lifting a litter we don't say 'Go, go, go' when we are ready to move, but we adjusted," he said.

Besides teaching Philippine soldiers, airmen, sailors and marines, Master Sgt. Jaylene Cadiente, a medical technician with the 624th ASTS worked closely with members of the AFP Nurse Corps.


Cadiente said, "The nurses weren't field medics; they worked in hospitals. We taught them the material so they could help us teach it."


Tadeo, Picardal and Cadiente said that even though the AFP members spoke English, it was helpful that 624th ASTS medics and nurses could speak or understand at least one of the local languages--Tagalog, Ilocano, and Visayan.


"By the time we finished the course they were all thankful. We had given them at least the basics on how to do first aid," said Picardal.


 It was the 624th ASTS' first time training in the Philippines. Tadeo said they plan to return in the future.


Maj. Sheila Compton-Rivo, deputy commander of administration with the Guam Army National Guard Medical Detachment, Fort Juan Muna, Guam, said that words could not truly express how grateful she was for everyone's active participation and commitment to excellence in making the mission a success. "We all worked and played well together and have created some life-long friendships," she said.