Thursday, January 04, 2007

Docs Duty: the ANA

I've had a couple of emails from Doc Duty. He is such a great guy, and I know a very busy Corpsman in what is still a dangerous part of the world.

If you are new to Gunz Up, or behind on the multiple mechanical manuscripts we throw your way here, then just a quick bio.

Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Jason "Doc" Duty is currently stationed at Camp Phoenix in Kabul, Afghanistan with four other Instructors assigned to the Navy ETT (Embedded Training Team) 620A . The team travels to the vaious ANA training camps to train the Afghanistan National Army medics.

Doc stays very busy and doesn't get many opportunities to be online, but we're glad to have him comment when he can.

He spent 3-1/2 years with 2/1 at Camp Pendleton, so he was actually with the unit longer than Aaron was. That just suddenly struck me!

I had asked Doc a while back what his take was on Afghanistan. Below is a quote from him:

My personal take? I think Afghanistan is a whole different animal than Iraq. The people act like they actually want us here and are quick to divulge info about the bad guys, the ANA soldiers make-up for lack of training in soldiering with ferocity. They love to fight and will get up and run to the battle; the only problem is that when they get there, they've forgotten items necessary to sustain the fight, such as extra ammo, procedures for evacuating the casualties etc. But they aren't like the Iraqi soldiers I dealt with last time, they like to fight!!!

At this point I wanted to ask Doc if this assignment feels almost like downtime after being on the battlefield in the middle of heavy combat action with multiple casualties?

And just how much at risk are you?

How many hours a day do you train and how are your quarters?

Which Instructor's assignment has been most rewarding so far? CONUS or OCONUS? [great test question! What does this term mean?]

Check back in a few days for a photo essay of some of the training that Doc is providing to the ANA medics.


aunt karen said...

I just noticed that there is a test question here.
CONUS-Continental United States
OCONUS- Outside Continental United States, Overseas.
I can't wait to hear more from Doc Duty.

De'on Miller said...

Me too. I think he's real busy.

Good on your answer. What about Korea (Photo of the Day). No one has told me the number.

aunt karen said...

Go look, De'on, I answered it.

De'on Miller said...

Oh my, did you!

Steve's behind!

Doc Duty said...

To answer those questions: yes it almnost does feel like downtime to me here after Fallujah. The level of violence in terms of frequency is a lot lower, but when it does happen, it's almost like we're fighting another trained army. they try and overrun strategic points not just a base in itself. The attacks are coordinated and they use US military type manuevers. i am not at much risk most of the time. A lot of the training course we teach is done on base. When the training course finally come to completion however we go on missions with the ANA units for a couple of days and supervise their medics to ensure they retained enough of the training not to seriously hurt annyone at least. taht is when it can sometimes get a little hairy. the training course lasts about 6-8 hours a day for 6-8 weeks. (we thought about making it longer during the day, but a remembered a freind of mine once told me that "the mind can only retain as much as the ass can endure" the quarters here are actually very nice compared to what i am used to. We have barracks huts made of wood, with bunk beds (each person gets a whole rack to themselves, one to sleep on and one to store gear on) with heat for winter, AC for summer and US-type power. We are living good. i will have that info for you as soon as i can, but it is kinda hard reliving those memories enough to put them to paper. I'll talk to you soon. take care

De'on Miller said...

Thanks for the info. I'm working on the photos and more Docs Duty stuff right now.

Honey, take as long as you need. It might surprise you, it may help, after the words get out, they're free. Though they are always with us, they needn't become our enemy.

I have no doubt that everyone did all they could possibly do that day, and the God I believe in is the giver and taker of life. Aaron is His.

You are very precious to me and I'd never do anything to harm you in any way. I'll be here for as long as you need.

Semper Fi,