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Cobra Medic Combat Water Survival Training
by U.S. Army Gloria Montgomery - November 5, 2014

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WAHIAWA, Hawaii – Soldiers from Company C, 225th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division conducted Combat Water Survival Training (CWST) while simultaneously implementing their Medic Table VI and Basic Life Support (BLS) skills with an Automated External Defribulator (AED) Oct. 1, 2014 at Helamano Military Reserve in Wahiawa, Hawaii.

Soldiers from Company C, 225th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division conducted Combat Water Survival Training (CWST) while simultaneously implementing their Medic Table VI and Basic Life Support (BLS) skills with an Automated External Defribulator (AED), Oct. 1, 2014 at Helamano Military Reserve in Wahiawa, Hawaii. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Carlos Davis)
Soldiers from Company C, 225th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division conducted Combat Water Survival Training (CWST) while simultaneously implementing their Medic Table VI and Basic Life Support (BLS) skills with an Automated External Defribulator (AED), Oct. 1, 2014 at Helamano Military Reserve in Wahiawa, Hawaii. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Carlos Davis)

According to Sgt. Gregory Tainatongo, of Tacoma, Washington, and Sgt. Edward Dean, of Banning, California, both health care specialists assigned to Company C, the principle of the training was not to teach Soldiers how to swim, but instead to teach them how to survive; an important and essential tool being stationed on the pacific island of Oahu.

During the training, Soldiers were trained on the two types of water entry, how to correctly exit the pool, treading water, how to use the Army Combat Uniform (ACU) as a flotation device while simultaneously applying the basic fundamentals of BLS with the use of an AED , and correctly performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation on a dive casualty.

In order to accommodate swimmers at all levels, safety measures were implemented with the use of trained instructors who supervised all previously identified weak and non-swimmers at the shallow end of the pool.

"The training was a success,” stated Spc. Ashanti Rhabb, a health care specialist assigned to Company C, who has been in the Army for almost three years. “As a non-swimmer, I felt that the training was extremely beneficial; I felt safe and included during all phases of the training.”

Upon completion of the training, Rhabb stated that she would be willing to complete the training again once she had taken swimming lessons.

“As an experienced swimmer, I felt like this training was very realistic,” said Pfc. Robert Vasilescu of Brooklyn, N.Y., a health care specialist assigned to Company C. “The training was a 'must have' being stationed here in Hawaii as a Soldier in the 25th Infantry Division in the Pacific Command (PACOM). I have conducted water rescue training in the past and found this training to be comparably important and essential. As medics, we need to know how to perform our job in an aquatic environment as potential first responders in the field."

Being surrounded by water here in Hawaii, it is important for Soldiers to learn basic survival skills. For most of Company C, 225th BSB Soldiers, the CWST event was their first experience with water survival training highlighting the importance and necessity of this potential perishable skill. When asked whether or not training was a success, both Tainatongo and Dean were already preparing to take the training to the next level, CWST in the ocean.

“Novice swimmers can survive in water,” said Dean. “Water survival is possible if correct standards and training are implemented.”

By U.S. Army Gloria Montgomery
Provided through DVIDS
Copyright 2014

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