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News > 86th Medical Group prepares for international medical exercise
 
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Expeditionary Medical Support Tent
Capt. Paulencia Morris, 86th Dental Squadron, lays out parts of an expeditionary medical support tent in the medical logistics warehouse here Mar.3. Members of the 86th Medical Group practiced assembling the EMEDS tent in preparation of their participation in an upcoming international mass casualty medical exercise held in the Netherlands. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Markus M. Maier)
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86th Medical Group prepares for international medical exercise

Posted 3/3/2011   Updated 3/3/2011 Email story   Print story

    


by Tech Sgt. Markus M. Maier
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs


3/3/2011 - RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany -- Thirty-eight members of the 86th Medical Group will join medical personnel from Belgium, Holland and Great Britain as part of an international medical exercise, the Joint Medical Module, scheduled in the Netherlands Mar. 21 through April 1.

In preparation for the exercise, the Ramstein participants set up an Expeditionary Medical Support tent near the logistics warehouse here Mar. 3.

"One [basic EMEDS setup] can take care of 2,000 people for 30 days before it has to be resupplied," said Maj. Ray Vincent, 86th MDG Medical Readiness Flight commander. "It is a stepping stone-type capability that we can send anywhere in the world in 18 hours or less."

Depending on the crisis, modules can be added allowing the EMEDS to meet more specific needs.

"The basic EMEDS package provides primary care, nursing care, laboratory services, dental care, x-ray and a surgical capability," Major Vincent said. "Then you can also add modules for more specialized needs such as pediatrics or gynecology."

A mobile cadre specializing in the EMEDS course from Brooks Air Force Base, Texas will also be joining the 86th MDG personnel during the JMM.

"What this does, instead us sending one or two people TDY at a time, we can train 38 of our people and 14 from Spangdahlem all at one time," Major Vincent said. "This prevents a decreased capability in the clinic and ends up saving us about $175,000 in TDY costs."

The JMM is a mass-casualty training exercise designed to build the interoperability of allied forces and increase the operational capabilities of responding forces in emergency situations.

"This will bring closer partnership and sharing of medical information on how we do things together for future deployments or contingencies," said Major Vincent.

An added benefit of this exercise is it satisfies mandatory Air Force training requirements.

"Once the participants complete this training they'll be EMEDS qualified," Major Vincent said.

In recent years Ramstein medical personnel practiced their combined expeditionary skills by participating in the annual Medical Training Exercise in Central and Eastern Europe.

However, while there is one more MEDCEUR exercise scheduled in June, there are currently none scheduled for the following years, so the JMM is expected to replace MEDCEUR for the immediate future, according to Major Vincent.

The JMM consists of two parts.

"The first few days will be didactics, where the participants will teach each other," said Major Vincent. "Then there will be a cultural day followed by a three-day live exercise."

The live exercise will consist of scenarios such as a hostile attack on the base, a vehicle accident, a fire, a natural disaster and a gas attack, providing the participants with a wide variety of mock injuries to diagnose and treat.

While the JMM has fewer participants than the MEDCEUR exercises, Maj. Vincent believes the benefits are the same.

The opportunity to practice with medical personnel from other nations translates well into many of the current ongoing combined operations, according to the major. Being familiar with each other's procedures can mean the difference between life and death.




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