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    Balkan Medical Task Force joins Saber Guardian 17

    Balkan Medical Task Force joins Saber Guardian 17

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Tyler Meister | Medical personnel with the Balkan Medical Task Force simulate diagnosing and...... read more read more



    Story by Sgt. Tyler Meister 

    115th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

    After many years of extensive planning and coordination between multiple nations, the Balkan Medical Task Force (BMTF) was able to show off its capabilities during a medical training demonstration July 14, 2017 at Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base, Romania as part of Exercise Saber Guardian 17.

    At its core the BMTF will be a deployable Multinational Medical Unit (MMU) with a mission of supporting crisis response operations.

    The BMTF nations that came together to support SG17 were Bosnia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia and Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Albania is also a member of the BMTF but they did not participate in the medical training for SG17.

    SG17 is an annual, multinational exercise held in the Black Sea region as part of the U.S. European Command Joint Exercise Program. SG17 reinforces deterrence measures agreed to by NATO at the Warsaw Summit in 2016, assures our allies and partners of the enduring U.S. commitment to the collective defense and prosperity of the Black Sea region, and to enable the alliance’s command and control functions.

    “Exercise Saber Guardian is the first major exercise this team has supported since we came together in May,” said Lt. Col. Anze Militarov, a trauma surgeon with the BMTF. “Putting together this many nations was very challenging but for me the challenge has also been the most enjoyable part of working here.”

    Militarov said their main goal is to save lives and limbs and everyone in the field hospital knows and understands their limits, which has enabled a cohesive work environment.

    According to Medical Corps International, the purpose of the BMTF is to provide medical support at the Role 2 level, life or limb with surgical assets, on crisis response operations on a sustainable level and to give rapid response to a broad spectrum of regional disaster relief situations.

    At first glance the hospital would appear to be run solely by military members from the various nations, however, the team is made of up many civilians who wear their country's military uniform.

    “The experience of working in a field hospital is new but exciting to me since I generally only work in normal hospitals, said Daliborka Radisic, a Serbian civilian who is the head nurse of the BMTF. “This exercise has provided me with many great learning opportunities and hopefully help advance my nursing career.”

    Standing up the BMTF enabled the deployment of a unique multinational rapid response team to aid a broad spectrum of regional disaster relief situations. They bring capabilities that enhance national medical services in any location which means more lives could be saved. Participating in European exercises, including SG17, open up training opportunities as well validation from NATO assessment groups.

    “The capabilities of the BMTF augment Saber Guardian well and give the unit great learning experiences, said Lt. Col. Oscar Meijboom, the evaluation officer for the NATO Centre of Excellence for Military Medicine. “This newly formed unit is performing well and exhibited strong interoperability within its multinational medical team.”

    Meijboom feels the BMTF is a very unique concept that exemplifies the benefits of having a mobile multinational medical force.

    “The BMTF’s crisis response time is impressive. They can have a team on site for reconnaissance and liaison needs within twenty four hours and have a fully functional field hospital set up and operational in seventy two hours,” said Meijboom.

    BMTF representatives stated SG 17 is one of many planned exercises the unit hopes to support and be a part of in the future to further improve training and develop a stronger Europe.



    Date Taken: 07.14.2017
    Date Posted: 07.16.2017 04:52
    Story ID: 241313

    Web Views: 770
    Downloads: 1