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Friday, January 18, 2013 - 8:56pm
EL PASO — Battlefield contractors who work alongside military and government personnel in war trained at Fort Bliss.
More than 300 battlefield contractors were training in hopes of saving lives.
"We are with civilians every day. They're riding with us in Afghanistan and Iraq or wherever and training helps them to be able to not only save their battle buddies' lives," said Major Chris Thomas.
At training, a machine simulates a Humvee rollover.
Thomas was involved in a rollover accident while deployed in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
"This is realistic training. Being in Iraq in 2005 to 2006, it's something that I had to experience… it actually saved my life and it's saving soldiers’ lives today," said Thomas.
Contractor Anna Walker said she’s grateful for this opportunity.
"I didn't realize that when they were tipping us over exactly how I would feel and after going through it and now I'm confident that, heaven forbid, if I'm in a rollover, I know exactly what I need to do," said Walker.
She said this type of training brings soldiers and contractors together.
"When they see that I go out there and I'm willing to experience exactly what's they're experiencing, I think it gives a big confidence and if anything, it builds a really tight moral between the military and the civilians because they're seeing that I can do it," said Walker.
Contractors also learn how to help someone who's been injured.
"We will know how to immediately evaluate that casualty, move that casualty and apply some of the quick reactionary skills that we need to save our battle buddy downrange," said Major Charmaine Douchette. "These skills that we are learning today are very important because not only are they useful downrange, but they are useful for every day. They are everyday survival skills."
Battlefield contractor training at Fort Bliss will go until January 31.