Balkan Medical Task Force (BMTF) took part in the NATO Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre (EADRCC) Exercise “NORTH MACEDONIA 21’’, that was held from 18th to 25th September 2021 in Ohrid and Struga in the Republic of North Macedonia. NATO EADRCC and Crisis Management Centre of the Republic of North Macedonia jointly organized the exercise.
The scenario for the field exercise was based on imaginary earthquake and consequences of it that took place afterwards, such as: urban search and rescue operations, flood response and response to chemical incidents which affected the civil population and critical infrastructure in the area around Ohrid and Struga. The BMTF SB has approved use of Role 2 MTF for the exercise, to act as a part of international assistance to the host nation authorities.
The main purpose of the BMTF participation in the exercise was to check readiness and capabilities of the BMTF as multinational medical unit to participate in international respond operations to the consequences of natural disasters. BMTF Exercise mission was as an integral part of the international medical forces deployed in North Macedonia to provide medical support of MKD authorities and the care of the injured persons.
Some objectives of BMTF exercise were developed:
– Check the readiness and capabilities of the BMTF to operate in case of natural disaster in accordance with its defined mission and tasks;
– Practice MASCAL procedures and capabilities, and test effectiveness of the information management and patient flow in MASCAL;
– Build effective medical teams within the BMTF (team building);
– Enhance cooperation with civilian institutions responsible for disaster response management in North Macedonia.
It is indispensable to emphasize that the BMTF participation was realized with assistance of the MKD authorities, partner nations both Kingdom of Norway and United States of America.
Main outcomes of the BMTF participation in NATO EADRCC “NORTH MACEDONIA 21’’ exercise are:
– BMTF has participated successfully in the exercise the and demonstrated the highest level of the operational capabilities;
– Exercise organizers valued the BMTF’s contribution to the success of the exercise;
– All the exercise BMTF objectives are achieved;
– During the exercise BMTF participants functioned as a compact team.
The BMTF was in focus and interest of different visitors including the host nation and international officials.