FORT BENNING, GA – Yesterday, 49 students, representing the nations of Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, Paraguay and Peru graduated here at WHINSEC.
They have completed the academic requirements for their respective courses. The courses were International Operational Law (IOL), Inter-Agency Crisis Action Planning (IACAP), Joint Disaster Response Techniques (JDRT), and Medical Assistance (MEDAC). Courses varied in length with the IOL, ranging from four weeks at MEDAC to nine weeks. All courses contain integrated human rights training; the rule of law; rules of engagement; due process; civilian control of the military and the role of the military in a democratic society.
The International Operational Law course covers the legal topics and issues encountered in planning and executing security force operations in today’s environment.
Lt. Felipe Ramirez Garcia of the Colombian Air Force participated in the IOL course and he had this to say.
“The course has proven to be of great benefit to all as it enhances our knowledge of international humanitarian and human rights law and its application during military operations. Due to my daily work as an operational legal adviser, having much clearer and broader concepts of the application of international humanitarian law and human rights for military operations, I will be able to strengthen much more the actions of the force and the democratic accomplishment of the missions that we fulfill.
During the Interagency Crisis Action Planning course, students learn individual tasks coupled with skills and knowledge to function as crisis management advisors or planners during military operations or initial response activities in conjunction with the interagency and multinational community.
Ms. Sara L Rodriguez, Colombian Ministry of National Defence, commented: “It was a very interesting course, a lot of learning. It’s a path that leaves me with a lot of lessons, a way of thinking a little more precise, strict and clear to be able to work in interagency with all the agencies and institutions in Colombia.
Even though I have had experience working with other agencies, this course gives me some lessons to apply, basic things like scheduling a specific task, who to go to when I need something . Not only did we learn about planning, but we also learned about the different entities that can help us in times of crisis.”
Students who complete the Joint Disaster Response Techniques course receive training that includes a combination of classroom and field instruction and practical exercises that develop and enhance students’ proficiency in executing breach operations and humanitarian assistance through through urban search and rescue operations.
Peruvian Army Engineer Lt. Maria A. Ramos Menut said, “It was a very rewarding course, new techniques and new experiences. With this, I can contribute to new techniques that we can develop as part of our training with the Peruvian army. These techniques will help improve many shortcomings we may have, one to personally improve and improve the performance of our professionals during a disaster or emergency.”
Guatemalan Army Maj. Erikson de Jesus Garcia Santander, a member of the Humanitarian Rescue Battalion, and another JDRT student added.
“Each of us brought a bit of our knowledge, of what we do in our countries in terms of humanitarian aid. This course has helped us combine our multinational efforts to attend to an emergency, natural disaster, earthquake, hurricane that occurs in each of our countries. I take with me techniques that I can apply in Guatemala, in the humanitarian aid unit to which I belong. I had previous knowledge yes, but the techniques learned here are new techniques that work and will be shared with dedicated relief personnel,” said de Jesus.
Participants in the Medical Assistance course develop the medical skills required of personnel serving in military or law enforcement units. Key areas include basic rescue measures; force health protection; treatment of complicated injuries; fluid replacement; splint; cardiopulmonary resuscitation; combat trauma treatment; invasive skills; limited primary care; combat evacuation; and physical fitness.
MEDAC student, Colombian Air Force Captain Adhara M. Estrada Torres found the course very interesting, which generated a lot of learning, many teachings on the treatment of patients, especially those who were wounded in combat and to be able to provide the best care in these difficult times.
She added, “I believe it is a course that has many tools, many learning-oriented facilities that greatly help the medical staff, the nursing staff to fulfill the mission of caring for the injured. I bring these teachings back with me with the idea of being multipliers of these teachings to health personnel in order to have more tools to treat patients.