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GRP 57- Co-hosting for this podcast is British Army Combat Medic Chantel Taylor. I had a conversation with retired Slovenian Special Forces Medic "Sidik". Slovenia is a small country located in Eastern Europe. We talk about Sidik's time in the Mechanized Infantry in which he has a peacekeeping deployment into Kosovo. During the 1990's the Serbian government was pushing into the Serbian region of Kosovo which is mostly home to ethnic Albanians.
I have good friends of mine who are Albanian, and I remember a time when their fathers left the U.S. to go and help in the effort countering the Serbian advances. The Serbian military pressed into Kosovo and commenced acts of genocide, and ethnic cleansing. The United States and its allies deployed into Kosovo and bombed targets inside Serbia to stop their advances. Sidik upon his return from Kosovo began his journey into the Slovenian Special Forces Regiment. He became a Special Forces Medic and underwent his medical training here in the States alongside American Special Operations Medics. Sidik has a combat rotation into Afghanistan alongside a Green Beret Special Forces ODA. Below is an excerpt from our conversation:
John: A lot of times until something bad happens people believe it could never happen until it's too late. We end up reacting. Having basic knowledge of bleeding control and tourniquet use could make a difference. Let's say someone gets in a car crash and you have a bilateral amputation of your lower leg, with a tourniquet and understanding of how to use it someone's life can be saved.
Can you share with the audience a story of your deployment?
Sidik: We were mentoring the Afghan Police, we ran armed reconnaissance, direct action in going after high-value targets. We went on a big operation into a valley that was Taliban-held territory. The plan was to have one team to set up over watch on top of the mountain with the other team clearing out the valley. I was on over watch. My team consisted of three Slovenians, and two Americans and a bunch of Afghani's. We started out with a couple of hundred guys, but upon reaching the top of the hill it turned out to only be us, and the American's (laughs). We got into a firefight and called in CAS (Close Air Support), but even with the gunships, these guys were still hammering us. When the op was over walking back down the hill suddenly we got 10 guys with us, and then 50 people, and by the time we got back down the hill, we had 300 guys with us again (laughter).
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