Medical Staff in Field Hospital During Exercise

Medical Staff in Field Hospital During Exercise
Exercise
Image by Defence Images
An Army surgeon discusses a mock casualty’s ‘injuries’ with other medical staff during a training exercise in a field hospital.

Airborne medics have hammered out the skills they might need for operations around the world on Exercise Serpent’s Anvil.

Troops from Colchester-based 16 Medical Regiment (16 Med Regt) tested their techniques and the high-tech, lightweight equipment they would use to provide medical care to the Airborne Task Force (ABTF)the British Army’s rapid reaction force.

The exercise, held at the Army Medical Services Training Centre in York, saw the medics tested to the limits of their capabilities, kit and supplies. A field hospital, including a resuscitation suite, operating theatre and intensive care ward, was set up to treat simulated casualties using equipment such as portable digital X-ray machine and handheld diagnostic scanners.

Lieutenant Colonel Steven Tracey, Commanding Officer of 16 Med Regt, said: ÒWe offer a unique capability within the British military, not just the Army, of being able to deploy a surgical team by parachute.

ÊÒTo be ready for our role in the ABTF we have to move away from our recent experiences in Afghanistan. We could find ourselves operating Ð in all senses of the word – in conditions that are hostile not just in terms of fighting, but the lack of depth to transport and medical resources and environmental conditions, such as sanitation and the prevalence of tropical disease.

ÒThis requires our medics to develop a different mindset to work without the safety net there is in Afghanistan of having what is probably the best trauma hospital in the world a quick helicopter ride away. This training has tested our ability to work light, fast and on our own.Ó

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Photographer: Sgt Rupert Frere
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