Regular and Reserve personnel from the Defence Medical Services (DMS) have just completed a successful 14 day exercise delivering multinational deployed hospital care at the Army Medical Services Training Centre (AMSTC) in Strensall, York.
The Surgeon General, Lt Gen Martin Bricknell speaks from the exercise:
Joint Atlantic Serpent
250 medical personnel took part, of which 60 came from the United States, Canada, Germany, Norway and Estonia. The UK Reserve personnel were deployed from 205 Field Hospital and 256 Field Hospital as well as from 612 and 4626 Squadrons from the Royal Axillary Air Force. The Defence Medical Group also provided a number of Regular DMS personnel who are currently working within the National Health Service.
The exercise was a combined joint task force scenario with a 4 day assessment phase. This tested the hospital command team fully as it transitioned rapidly from supporting counter-insurgency to war fighting missions. Ex CJAS 18 demonstrated how clinical personnel from multiple nations can come together as equals and to deliver patient care to the same standards you would expect within a purely national facility.
Captain Reinhard, an anaesthetist from the Estonian National Defence College said
> I first received the benefit of receiving this training in 2013 when Estonia deployed with the UK hospital in Camp Bastion, I have really enjoyed the opportunity to return to AMSTC on Ex CJAS 18.
Deploying such a large hospital allowed the planners to include additional capabilities that would not normally be exercised in this environment. Some examples included a primary health care, an aeromedical support unit and a critical care in the air support team.
Corporal Neil Hudson, an Exercise Remedial Instructor (ERI) said
> The exercise was a good learning experience for me as it showed me a new environment in which I could be utilised as an ERI if there is a requirement for a role 3 theatre hospital
RAF Halton supported the exercise by providing 20 students awaiting trade training (SATT): these individuals worked tirelessly to ensure the hospital personnel received enough casualties to simulate the major joint operation scenario.
Corporal Rourke, the JNCO responsible for the SATTs said
> The guys were really chuffed with the thanks… it’s been nice to see them enjoy themselves as part of work away from RAF Halton.
The success of Ex CJAS 18 will encourage future development of the concept allowing UK personnel to increase their exposure to other nations clinical capabilities and some of the more unusual disciplines that are not common within the UK.
*ERI]: Exercise Remedial Instructor
*[AMSTC]: Army Medical Services Training Centre