US military trains PCG's Gabriela Silang ship crew in tactical combat casualty care

The United States (US) civilian military training unit and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) recently completed a three-day training that aims to improve the capability of the crew of the biggest Coast Guard ship in the country in responding to medical emergency situations at sea.

US-PCG TRAINING-- The Civilian Military Support Element-Philippines conducted a tactical combat casualty care training with the Philippine Coast Guard on Oct. 21 to 24, 2021. (Photo courtesy of the US Embassy in the Philippines)

From Oct. 21 to 24, the Civilian Military Support Element-Philippines (CMSE-PHL) conducted a tactical combat casualty care training with the officers and crew of the PCG's BRP Gabriela Silang and medical officers of the PCG Nursing Corps.

The training was designed to mirror real-world medical situations likely to be encountered by the crew of the BRP Gabriela Silang and culminated with an exercise designed to replicate a real maritime law enforcement boarding operation.

Trainees in the scenario boarded a suspected vessel, received a simulated casualty during their search, and conducted treatment and medical evacuation to the BRP Gabriela Silang.

Maritime law enforcement boarding operations are commonly executed by the PCG as part of their maritime security duties.

“Whether it’s helping the people of Palawan with COVID-19 relief or medical training that will help us save lives, our significant and enduring partnership with the CMSE Philippines has been one of our most valued connections,” said Cdr. Rolando Lorenzana, commander of the BRP Gabriela Silang.

According to CMSE-PHL, the training strengthened the medical capabilities of the BRP Gabriela Silang crew while working in a wide range of environments during maritime operations.

It was also designed to enhance the ability of the PCG to respond during both maritime security operations and search and rescue operations.

“Every opportunity that we are afforded to train with the Philippine Coast Guard becomes a learning experience for our whole team,” said Staff Sgt. Brandon Gonzalez, CMSE-PHL medical sergeant.

“The level of professionalism and dedication to their unique skill sets is something that we have continuously witnessed, making us eager to engage further and expand on our combined capabilities together,” Gonzalez added.

In early October the US military also trained PCG men in North Eastern Luzon in tactical combat casualty care training.

This training partnership exemplifies the relationship between US and Philippines in promoting a free and open Indo-Pacific region by strengthening maritime law enforcement and maritime search and rescue capabilities.