News: Nations begin force integration training for upcoming ASEAN exercise
Story by Lance Cpl. Kasey Peacock
BERAKAS, Brunei Darussalam — Medical professionals with multiple Asia-Pacific nations began executing the Force Integration Training (FIT) Program for the upcoming Association of Southeast Asian Nations Defence Ministers Meeting (ADMM) – Plus ASEAN Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Relief and Military Medicine Exercise (AHMX) at Berakas, Brunei Darussalam, June 13.
ADMM-Plus AHMX is a multilateral exercise that allows nations to collaborate with their partner counties to achieve mutual security goals, address shared concerns and continue to develop and enhance relationships.
The FIT training is conducted as part of the medical and engineering engagements for the exercise, which will be conducted at various locations throughout Brunei.
During the FIT training, participants from several nations discussed their different standard operating procedures for dealing with patients, and also worked together to determine care for simulated casualties.
“The purpose of the FIT training is to get everyone synchronized and on the same page for when we conduct the exercise,” said U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Andrew Stedman, a combat medic with 1984th United States Army Hospital. “The key to this exercise is working together. While medicine is universal, the way treatment is applied can be different. By working together, we will be able to come up with the quickest and most efficient way to treat patients in a time of crisis.”
For the first time under the ADMM-Plus architecture, a field training exercise will be conducted that will involve a scenario focused on a post-tropical revolving storm (TRS) typhoon rescue, survey, recovery and disaster relief in the vicinity of the District of Temburong. During the FTX medical and engineering professionals will combine their knowledge and skills to collaborate on future humanitarian relief efforts by working together.
Throughout the day, different nations rotated through stations discussing their countries techniques for dealing with casualty care. Each station provided insight into the ultimate goal of getting everyone on the same page to work together throughout the exercise, according to Indonesian Capt. Suparman, a medical officer with the Indonesia Air Force Hospital.
“When you have all of these countries together, there is a lot of knowledge and experience to gain,” said Suparman. “There are a lot of disasters that happen in this region, and we need to work together to provide the best care.”
Those participating include medical personnel from the ASEAN-comprised nations of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar (Burma), Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam; and other Asia-Pacific nations of Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Russia and the U.S.
“We have worked very closely with our host and partner nations to prepare for this exercise,” said Singapore Armed Forces Col. Dr. Kang Wee Lee, the co-chair medical officer for the exercise. “Our aim is to familiarize each other with our procedures and to establish a common operating language so that when we translate into operations we will work together smoothly. While most of us are doctors, nurses and medics, there are still differences in the way we execute.
“This training exercise is the culmination of a three-year work-up plan to bring all of the military medicine establishments from all the member countries together to train. The importance of what we are doing during this exercise is crucial to saving lives in this region, as it is most prone to natural disasters.”
The exercise, which is scheduled from June 16 to 20, provides an opportunity for participating nations to hone their communication skills and learn from each other’s unique experiences and expertise, better preparing partner nations for a unified approach to future contingencies.