Army Reserve Soldiers Help Armed Forces of Bosnia-Herzegovina Prepare for Iraq Mission

Article excerpt

Around the Globe

SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina - As a platoon of Soldiers from the Armed Forces of Bosnia-Herzegovina (AFBiH) prepared to support Operation Iraqi Freedom, U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers supported them with some medical training that could eventually save their lives.

Soldiers from the 7th Army Reserve Command's (ARCOM) Medical Support Unit-Europe (MSU-E), headquartered in Heidelberg, Germany, traveled to Sarajevo in May to provide Soldiers from the AFBiH with combat lifesaver familiarization. The AFBiH Soldiers, who are volunteers from the Federation Army and the Army of the Republic of Srpska, are preparing for their first joint military operation outside of Bosnia.

CPT Robert Beljan, operations officer for the Armed Forces of Bosnia-Herzegovina Center of Professional Development in Pazaric, said the Soldiers will be attached to a U.S. Marine explosive ordinance disposal unit. Their mission, as part of the Coalition Forces in Iraq, will be to dispose of large amounts of captured ammunition. Beljan said the lifesaving training the Soldiers received from the combat medics will help them aid one another in case of a medical emergency.

"I can say as an operations officer, who followed the entire medical familiarization provided by the U.S. Soldiers, that this was some of the best training that our Soldiers have had, especially when it comes to hands-on training," said Beljan.

The four Soldiers from the MSU-E who provided the combat lifesaver familiarization - SFC Jerry Taylor, SSG Bruce Toland, SGT David Deans, and SPC Daniel Perry - are part of an Army Reserve medical team that travels throughout Europe providing Soldiers combat lifesaver training.

MAJ Thomas Johnson, operations officer for the MSU-E, said the unit's mission is to augment and support U.S. Army Europe and maintain a combat ready, forward stationed Army Reserve medical unit fully capable of supporting the 7th ARCOM and European Regional Medical Command (ERMC) intra-theater medical mission. Johnson added that one of their major missions is to provide combat lifesaver training to Soldiers being deployed to a combat zone, such as Iraq.

SSG Bruce Toland, an Army Reserve Soldier with the MSU-E, said the combat lifesaver familiarization they provided the AFBiH Soldiers was geared to help them deal with any medical emergency that might arise due to their handling of munitions. …