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Joint MEDEVAC rehearsal ensures efficient patient care

With support from the Georgian Armed Forces and local host nation medical personnel, the 3rd Squadron, 2d Cavalry Regiment medical team conducted a ground medical evacuation rehearsal from Role 1 to Role 3 care at the Vaziani Training Area, Georgia, July 31, 2018. A Stryker medical evacuation vehicle moved the simulated patient from the training area to a Georgian Role II facility where he was assessed and further transported for care in Tbilisi. This training was conducted as part of Noble Partner 18 – a Georgian Armed Forces and U.S. Army Europe cooperatively-led exercise in its fourth iteration. The exercise is intended to support and enhance the readiness and interoperability of Georgia, the U.S. and participating nations during a multinational training operation. (U.S. Army photo by 1st Lt. Ellen C. Brabo, 2d Cavalry Regiment)

Story by 1st Lt. Ellen Brabo
2d Cavalry Regiment

Conducting medical evacuation rehearsals prior to a multinational training exercise allows a medical support team to accurately predict the time it takes to move a patient from point of injury to a host-nation clinic. While coordinating patient care between partner nations presents challenges, it also allows for an opportunity to increase interoperability.

In preparation for Noble Partner 18, the medical team for the Vilseck, Germany based 3rd Squadron, 2d Cavalry Regiment conducted a transfer of casualties to higher echelons of care as part of a MEDEVAC rehearsal at the Vaziani Training Area, Georgia, July 31, 2018.

After assessing a simulated patient at the field training site, the line medics from 3/2CR completed a ground evacuation utilizing a Stryker Medical Evacuation Vehicle in order to move the patient to the host nation clinic.

“Today’s training went [well],” said Spc. Ryan Darroch, line medic, Lightning Troop, 3/2CR. “We were able to get the patient into the MEV pretty quickly and then get to the hospital quicker than we did yesterday when we drove here for route navigation.”

A ground medical evacuation requires coordination with both the Georgian ambulance and its medical team. The support from the host nation streamlines the process and ensures care is provided in a more efficient manner.

Upon arrival to the clinic at VTA, the 3/2CR medics, along with the Georgian Armed Forces and civilian medical personnel, downloaded the patient and transported him inside for reassessment. This allowed the doctor to ensure the patient was stable for continuous MEDEVAC to the host nation hospital, or Role 3 care.

“Role 3 has capabilities to conduct trauma management and give blood if the Soldier requires blood in worst case scenarios,” said 1st Lt. Maulen Omarov, medical service officer, 3/2CR.

The simulated patient was then transported to a hospital in Tbilisi via ground ambulance, thus ensuring all MEDEVAC procedures were rehearsed.
With the MEDEVAC support for Noble Partner 18 being shared between the U.S. Army and Georgian Armed Forces, it was paramount the medical team ensured operations would run smoothly if needed.

“The planning was something that was familiar to this specific unit because of our time in Poland,” said Omarov. “We knew that we had to go out and talk to the directors of hospitals directly by engaging them and talking to them about the capabilities in their hospitals.”

Though one may expect a language barrier between the U.S. Army and Georgian Soldiers to impact training opportunities, Omarov found success through his language skills. His fluency in Russian proved effective in coordinating and executing both a ground and air MEDEVAC. He quickly identified Russian speakers in the hospital, clinic and ambulance staffs.

“I was able to converse with nine out ten Georgians in Russian to make sure that this exercise happened and we did not need a linguist on the ground because of that,” shared Omarov.

During the training, the 3/2CR medical team identified the Georgians utilize the same definitions and nomenclatures as the U.S. Army for Role 1 through Role 4 care. When sending a nine-line MEDEVAC, the response was smooth given the Georgians’ familiarity with the doctrine since they mirror the U.S. military.

“When a Soldier’s life is on the line, time is ticking quickly and every second counts – so making sure everyone is fully rehearsed in the full medical procedure can save a Soldier’s life by a few seconds or by a few minutes,” said Omarov.

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