COLD LAKE, AB, CANADA -- U.S. Navy corpsmen with Marine Aircraft Group 49 and Marine Aircraft Group 41, 4th Marine Aircraft Wing, Marine Forces Reserve, held a series of training classes on medical procedures with Canadian Armed Forces medical technicians during exercise Maple Flag 50 at Canadian Forces Base Cold Lake, Alberta, May 29–June 8, 2017.
The corpsmen held medical classes for junior corpsmen and medical technicians. The classes served as a procedures refresher for the Navy corpsmen and RCAF Medics alike.
“Whenever we go on these annual trainings or monthly drills, we serve a supporting role,” said U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Christian Basque, a navy doctor with Marine Wing Support Squadron 472, MAG- 49, 4th MAW, MARFORRES. “We have to be proactive and hold classes to make sure our medical staff is trained and able to work with the host country.”
After attending the first class, which focused on ankle exams and ankle injuries, medical technicians continued to show interest in learning with the Corpsmen. They attended every class after that, diving into shoulder and knee exams and injuries, shock and triage, and treatment for chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear and nerve agent attacks.
“It has been a great opportunity to attend the classes,” said Canadian army Cpl. Maxiame Gilbert, a qualification level 3 medical technician with 1 field Ambulance. “What we learned is good information, and it’s really relevant.”
The U.S. Navy corpsmen and Canadian Armed Forces medical technicians had collocated medical tents during exercise Maple Flag. The partnership benefitted both sides as the corpsmen received extra necessary equipment from their Canadian counterparts during the exercise.
“This is my first time working with a foreign medical force,” said Basque. “But luckily medicine is all pretty similar. We practice the same, the lingo is the same and the medication is pretty similar.”
Medical technicians also had an opportunity to look through corpsmen’s medical kits.
“I loved looking through the American medical kits,” said Gilbert. “We have the same types of medicines and bandages but the American kit is much more compact than ours.”
Through their time training and working at Maple Flag, U.S. Navy corpsmen and Canadian Armed Forces medical technicians gained greater confidence operating in an integrated environment.
“I just want to say thanks to the Canadians,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Ramon Rosado, a corpsman with MWSS-472. “They’ve been very supportive and willing to help whenever we needed something. If we required anything, they made sure we got it. I’m really looking forward to working with them in the future.”