An RAF Aeromedical Evacuation team has deployed on exercise with A400M Atlas for the first time.
The Mobility Guardian exercise, designed to prepare personnel for medical evacuations, is being held in the US. In the largest exercise of its kind, medics from Tactical Medical Wing (TMW) together with three RAF Reserve squadrons, paratroopers, Force Protection and Aeromed personnel are training together with over 50 transport and air refuelling aircraft.
Flight Lieutenant Scott Fitzgerald, a Flight Commander on TMW based at RAF Brize Norton, explained the aim of the exercise. He said: “The focus for the aeromedical part of this exercise is to simulate the evacuation of up to 300 hospital patients in a humanitarian effort from a displaced area in a war torn environment.
“We’re doing that by working closely with other aeromedical teams from other countries. We’re mixing those teams to understand what qualifications, capabilities and skill sets are required in order to function on various aircraft from other countries and that combination of doctor, nurse and medical teams.”
The exercise has seen two separate patient preparation areas established, some 350 miles apart, replicating the scale of coalition evacuation operations. Using the A400M Atlas, RAF teams fly out to the humanitarian area to evacuate patients originating from a US Army Role 2 Hospital.
Flt Lt Fitzgerald: “All the personnel we have brought with us have never flown A400 previously so this is new for us. It’s a new capability, we can carry up to 66 stretchers on board the A400 which is our aircraft for the future.”
Image: © Crown Copyright
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