International Military medical evacuation training Allied Spirit VIII
U.S. army medics from the 557th Medical Company conduct rapid medical evacuation training during exercise Allied Spirit VIII at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center in Hohenfels, Germany, January 29, 2018. Allied Spirit VIII is unique in its ability to provide hands-on experience and testing of secure communications between NATO allies and partners.
US Army medics from the 557th Medical Company conduct rapid medical evacuation training during exercise Allied Spirit VIII at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center in Hohenfels, Germany, Jan. 29, 2018. Army photo by Spc. Dustin D. Biven (Picture source U.S. MoD)
About 4,100 participants from 10 nations are taking part in the exercise, which runs Jan. 15-Feb. 5. Nearly 2,420 participants will come from the United States and approximately 1,680 participants were expected to participate from allied and partner nations of Albania, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and the United Kingdom.
In this exercise, Poland's 12th Mechanized Brigade will command the multinational brigade headquarters. The Allied Spirit series rotates countries as the brigade headquarters leading the exercise, so all participating countries gain experience in working together in and for a multinational effort.
Soldiers must remain vigilant in this exercise at all times as opposing forces scattered around the area periodically attack with small arms, tracked vehicles and aerial support.
“We can't choose where the next combat zone will be, we just have to be prepared for anything,” said Army 1st Sgt. Joe Best, a combat medic with the 557th Medical Company. “We had [simulated] injured personnel brought in yesterday by aerial support, and without hesitation our medics responded and successfully transferred the injured from the UH-60 Black Hawk to a field litter ambulance stationed nearby.”
Medics were evaluated on how effective and quickly they could receive, transport and treat injured personnel brought in by air support in a combat environment. Though the terrain where the medical station is located is covered in deep mud, soldiers quickly adapted to their environment and overcame the difficulties.