A Blackpool medic has told how she is helping train Iraqi and Kurdish forces in the battle to defeat Islamic State.
Lance Corporal Nicquita Chamberlain, a combat medical technician with the 2nd Battalion of The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment, is one of 500 British soldiers currently deployed in locations across Iraq.
The 26-year-old said the main injuries Peshmerga forces have been sustaining are from gunshot wounds and IEDs.
She said she has been teaching them how to stop the bleeding and save lives when it comes to “catastrophic haemorrhages, gunshot wounds, chest injuries”.
As well as training them on how to use conventional tourniquets, she has also been instructing them on how to make them out of improvised medical kit, such as rope, rags, plastic wrappers and sticks.
Providing skills on how to deal with a severe casualty by using “nothing medical at all”, she said the Peshmerga realise how important medical training is.
And that the biggest thing she has learned on the tour is “how lucky” British troops are.
“In our infantry they always have medics, they have me with them,” the 26-year-old said.
“These guys don’t have a medic, so, not only are we lucky to have specialists in each field, but we also have all the kit we want.
“I have endless amounts of tourniquets and fluids, they have nothing. So I have taken from that how lucky we are, and how appreciative they are of us showing them little things like this.”
Lieutenant Colonel Rob Singleton Commanding Officer of the 2nd Battalion of The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment is based in Erbil in the Kurdish region at UK camp, JOB Zorbash.
He said: “In Mosul at the moment they are making real progress, and whilst we are not fighting we have got an indirect approach.
“It is our job to train the Iraqis and the Kurds so that they are able to do their job in Mosul - and it appears to me that they are doing it really well, they are very brave, and they have been fighting for a while now.
“I think that they are absolutely going to beat Daesh (another term for Islamic State) and it is to their credit.”
Lt Col Singleton said the Kurds and Iraqis are confident the fight against IS is one they can win, and that it is the job of his battalion to make sure they have the right skill set to do it.
“I think my training teams are genuinely first class and so they are held in really high regard by both the coalition and Kurdish and Iraqi security forces,” he said.
“When they deliver those periods of instruction, it is the best it gets and the Iraqis and Kurds know that and they know that it will keep them safe in Mosul and beyond.”
Praising the “leading role” Britain is playing in the coalition’s efforts to train Iraqi and Peshmerga forces, Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said the skills being provided are “vital”.
“Since 2014 we’ve helped train over 44,000 of these forces in countering Daesh booby traps, infantry skills, and bridge building,” he said.
“These skills are proving vital in the current operation to liberate western Mosul and push Daesh out of their last major stronghold in Iraq.”