Afghan, U.S. Army Soldiers Donate Blood in an Attempt to Save Afghan Soldier’s Life

[Stock Photo] U.S. Air Force members, with 966th Forward Surgical Team, draw blood from U.S. service members to determine their accurate blood type March 23, 2012. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Tech. Sgt. April Quintanilla)
31 Aug 2018

By: U.S. Army Maj. Matt Fontaine, Task Force Southeast Public Affairs

GARDEZ, Afghanistan – U.S. Army soldiers, 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade, worked with their Afghan partners in an attempt to save the life of an Afghan soldier who sustained wounds from a mortar attack at Afghan Camp Jahangul in Uruzgan province, August 2.

"Afghans and Americans worked together and did everything possible to save his life," said Afghan Army Brig. Gen. Qimati, 4th Brigade, 205th Corps commander. "We want to thank our advisors for everything they did to try to save our soldier’s life. They are more than advisors, they are our brothers.”

U.S. advisors, with Train, Advise and Assist Command-South, were training their Afghan partners when an indirect-fire attack erupted. A mortar round exploded a few feet from an Afghan soldier, inflicting devastating injuries. Afghan medics quickly responded by treating the soldier with tourniquets and intravenous fluids.

"The immediate first aid performed at the point of injury kept the soldier alive long enough for him to reach our aid station,” said U.S. Army Sgt.1st Class Paul Gill, a senior medic. "Without that initial first aid, he would have died where he was hit by the mortar round.”

U.S. Army medics quickly determined the Afghan soldier needed advanced treatment, including a blood transfusion, which called for an immediate medical evacuation.

A helicopter rushed the casualty to Tarin Kowt in Uruzgan province for more intensive care. The Damage Control Surgical Team activated a walking blood bank, a term used when U.S. soldiers donate blood on the spot for an injured soldier. The medics quickly received the blood they needed and had to turn away numerous volunteers.

The Afghan soldier received 12 units of blood from his U.S. partners, but despite the advance treatment and blood transfusion performed, the medics could not save him from the extensive trauma he sustained.

Ultimately, the soldier succumbed to his injuries and died.

"We were all saddened by a fellow soldier’s death,” said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Jason Sabat, 2nd Battalion, 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade commander. "Looking back, I’m extremely proud of the way the Afghan soldiers provided quality first aid and how our advisors didn’t hesitate to help save a fellow Soldier.”

Deployed to Afghanistan in March, 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade provides the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission with conventional warfare experts to train, advise, assist, accompany and enable Afghan National Defense Security Forces at every echelon of command from battalion to corps.

Established in 2015, Resolute Support (RS) is a NATO-led, non-combat mission to train, advise and assist the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF), who assumed nationwide responsibility for Afghanistan’s security following the conclusion of the previous NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission.  Its purpose is to help the Afghan security forces and institutions develop the capacity to defend Afghanistan and protect its citizens in a sustainable manner.


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