Members of the U.S. and Sri Lanka Navy came together for the opening ceremony of Sri Lanka Health Engagement 17 (SLHE-17) at Naval Base Welisara. During SLHE-17, U.S. Navy Corpsmen will train members of the Sri Lanka Navy to conduct their own Combat Life Saver classes to further develop their medical capabilities. (Photo by Sgt. Kathy Nunez)
NAVAL BASE WELISARA, Sri Lanka -- U.S. Navy Sailors and Sri Lanka Marines and Sailors came together for two weeks to exchange medical capabilities during Sri Lanka Health Engagement 17 at Naval Base Welisara, Sri Lanka, Sept. 11-22, 2017.
Since 2014, the U.S. and Sri Lanka navies have annually worked together through health engagements with the overall mission of enhancing regional partnerships, interoperability and medical readiness between the two forces.
“[It is] an ongoing sustainment effort by the Sri Lankans to continue the programs that they’ve developed,” said U.S. Navy LT Raymond Posey, the Health Service Support Officer for 3d Marine Logistics Group, III Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF).
21 Sri Lankan Marines and Sailors reviewed basic life-saving skills with their U.S. counterparts during SLHE-17, to include administering intravenous lines, applying tourniquets for hemorrhage control, and other forms of casualty management.
“During this training, a lot of non-medical [service members] are involved,” said Sri Lanka Navy Surgeon Lt. P.L.P. Rathnasekara, the battalion surgeon for the Sri Lanka Navy Marine Battalion. “They need the medical fundamentals to treat their subordinates or buddies. The training will help them save their soldiers not only in the battlefield, but in [cases like] humanitarian assistance and disaster relief."
Upon the completion of SLHE-17, the closing ceremony recognized the efforts of all the Sri Lanka and U.S. personnel who participated in the exchange.
“This is just a stepping stone,” said U.S. Navy Cmdr. Adolfo Granados, the Group Surgeon of 3d MLG, III MEF, during his closing remarks. “This is something that is going to grow and better things will come in the future.”