This was the second iteration of the new 22-week course, during which students learn and implement roughly 164 NATO-recognized critical tasks in specialized treatment of trauma and non-trauma injuries, illnesses and study clinical medicine. Students perform on tactical level in realistic combat scenarios while attaining these specialized skill sets.
Multinational special operation forces medics and non-medic operators
attending the NSOCM course are introduced to a wide variety of
lifesaving techniques enhancing their capabilities for unique medical
challenges that may arise during special operations forces missions.
“Saving more lives in combat is the NSCOM foremost intent,” said U.S.
Army Maj. Gen. Mark C. Schwartz, Commander of U.S. Special Operations
Command Europe. “As NSOCM equips SOF Medic Soldiers with more advanced
abilities; they take away what they learned here at ISTC to build a
collective capability from medical and non-medical SOF within their
ISTC is a nine-nation Memorandum of Understanding based organization
that received institutional accreditation from NATO. ISTC provides
advanced, specialized training focused on individual and tactical level
skills to increase the readiness and capacity of NATO and partner SOF.
ISTC allows NATO and partner nations to combine resources and
instructors while also ensuring interoperability amongst students.
“Being a small country, Norway has used ISTC to train our soldiers for
many years,” said Rear Adm. Jan Sommerfelt-Petterson, a specialist in
public health from the Norwegian Armed Forces. “We gain more from the
quality of education ISTC provides.”
Sommerfelt-Petterson believes that providing skilled medics alongside
units where doctors aren’t available is critical to saving lives. “The
crux of the matter is ISTC takes modern medicine and educates military
operators on skills to bring to combat in areas where normal medical
support is unavailable,” he said.
Medics in future contingency operations may face delayed evacuation
times and limited resources. Unit’s realize the need to better equip
medics with higher education in medical training and to further add to
an organization’s standard medic field training to assist with
casualties requiring long-term care.
“In previous operational commitments we discovered we needed a larger
presence in medical autonomy,” said Italian Army Brig. Gen. Ivan Caruso,
Commander of the Italian Army Special Forces Command. “Italy is
dedicating more funds and human resources for our SOF soldiers.”
Highlighting the relevance of the training, Caruso said an NSOCM-trained
Italian Army Special Forces medic was recently recognized during a
deployment to Iraq for his contribution in saving lives.
“If the intent is to create capable special forces working in remote
areas away from communication and logistic support, the unit should
attend this NATO-recognized course,” stated Caruso.
In addition to the skills learned, students are awarded a diploma and 60 applicable college credit hours.
“Along with ISTC’s NATO accreditation, the NSOCM course is aligned with
University College of Cork, Ireland,” said U.S. Army Maj. Jon
Christensen, ISTC NSOCM Course Director. “These credentials make the
ISTC NSOCM course the only combat medical course that upon completion
awards a diploma.”
With the classroom, practical exercises and the high-stress culminated
field training exercise complete, the graduates will move on to a final
two-week residency in medical facilities in Ireland and Norway before
returning to their respective units to put their skills to use and train
others in the life-saving techniques learned at the NATO Special
Operations Combat Medic course