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    MEDEVAC training demonstrates ability to save lives and execute the mission amongst the United States and their NATO allied nations

    MEDEVAC training demonstrates ability to save lives and execute the mission amongst the United States and their NATO allied nations

    Photo By Spc. Joshua Cowden | Staff Sgt. Timothy Thomas, a flight paramedic assigned to 3rd Forward Support Medical...... read more read more



    Story by Spc. Joshua Cowden 

    22nd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment   

    The ability to react quickly to a medical emergency is paramount to any Army operation. One of the key capabilities of any aviation brigade is the ability to successfully maneuver to a patient on the battlefield and provide rapid medical evacuation. Soldiers assigned to 3rd Forward Support Medical Platoon, 2nd General Support Aviation Battalion, 1st Combat Aviation Brigade, Task Force Nightmare, demonstrated this capability at Novo Selo Training Area, Bulgaria on a multiple day training exercise that took place from July 13 to July 15, 2021.

    As the radio communication specialist echoed out, “MEDEVAC, MEDEVAC, MEDEVAC," the unit jumped to their positions and executed the proper procedures. In no time, the pilots and medics were out of the command post building and running to their transportation vehicle to execute the mission.

    “This training is imperative to test our individual and collective tasks as a unit,” said U.S. Army Capt. Samuel Dunning, platoon leader, 3FSMP, 2-1 GSAB, TF Nightmare. “It ensures that in a vast array of scenarios, we’re ready to respond to any medical emergency and provide the best level of patient care that we can.”

    Realistic, scenario based training is critical in showcasing the U.S Army’s ability to work with fellow NATO host nations and provide valuable interoperability between our allies and partners. In this simulated MEDEVAC, Soldiers assigned to 3FSMP, 2-1 GSAB, TF Nightmare, provided transportation with a HH-60 Blackhawk to a casualty on the battle field and transported the patient to a local Bulgarian military hospital.

    “There is always difficulties when you involve several units in training, especially in a nation that is not your own.” Dunning said. “There are language barriers and communication mishaps but we overcame all of those through detailed rehearsals to make sure training was a success. We continue to build strong partnerships with our allied nations here in Europe.”

    To add to the complexity of the training, both day and night operations were completed on the multiple day training event.

    “Night operations bring a whole series of additional stressors on the individual crew and medics,” said U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer 3 Timothy Durant, a Blackhawk pilot attached to 3FSMP, 2-1 GSAB, TF Nightmare. “You have a limited field of view and the visibility gets degraded. You don’t really have a good contour of the ground. So, it’s very stressful to fly at night and it’s harder to find the point of injury or the ambulance exchange point. So it can be difficult but is a very important training aspect.”

    On July 14, the 9-line radio call requested a hoist evacuation. Adding to the variety of possible maneuvers, Soldiers in the 3FSMP reacted quickly and were able to provide the necessary hoist asset and safely evacuate the patient. Throughout the training the platoon reacted to a variety of different scenarios by providing hospital transfers, hoist evacuations and picking up patients from ambulance exchange points in both day and night operations.

    Overall the exercise was great practice in emulating realistic conditions and provided the unit with valuable experience in a variety of medical emergency situations. This type of training provides vital readiness to the units supporting our NATO allies and is critical in increasing the interoperability between U.S Army units and the host nations that support us.

    “This scenario is designed to show that we can work with U.S ground forces and transport them to foreign hospitals that fall within NATO,” Dunning said. “For example, today we took patients from our ground units and moved them to a Bulgarian military hospital where they were received by Bulgarian military personnel. This shows that we are dedicated to our NATO allies and that we can work together on a regular basis.”

    Our ability to quickly respond and reassure allies and partners rests upon the fact that we are here, in Europe, forward and ready. Readiness isn’t episodic, but must be sustained over time to be effective and requires coherent systems.



    Date Taken: 07.15.2021
    Date Posted: 07.20.2021 02:54
    Story ID: 401158
    Location: NOVO SELO, BG 
    Hometown: FORT RILEY, KS, US

    Web Views: 331
    Downloads: 1