“Vigorous warrior 2019” exercise

Balkan Medical Task Force (BMTF) took part in the “Vigorous Warrior -19” exercise. It was an international medical exercise organized by the NATO Centre of Excellence for Military Medicine (MILMEDCOE) together with a Host Nation – Republic of Romania. The exercise was conducted from 1st to 14th  April 2019 in Cincu, Republic of Romania, at the training area of the Romanian Armed Forces “GETICA” with participation of the BMTF from 4th to 14th April 2019 in full capacity.

The scenario for the field exercise was based on the combination of various effects of the war and natural disasters which affected the civil population and critical infrastructure in the area of operation.

The main goal of the exercise was to examine the system of planning, prevention, coordination of response and international assistance to the civilian authorities of the country affected by the natural disaster in the simulated situation, in this case the institutions of the Republic of Romania.

The main purpose of the BMTF participation in the exercise was to check readiness and capabilities of the BMTF as a multinational medical unit to participate in international respond operations to the consequences of manmade (war) and natural disasters.

The objectives of the BMTF participation in the exercise were to practice BMTF procedures and capabilities, test effectiveness of the information management and patient flow, conduct MEDEVAL of the BMTF except C4I and PECC modules, improve national medical capacities of the BMTF Participating nations through improved preparedness and planning in case of the BMTF engagement in international medical operations and to build effective medical teams within the BMTF.

The BMTF participated in the exercise, with the task of medical treatment of the injured, IAW the defined mission and the existing medical capacities, whereby the planned BMTF role was fully realized in this exercise.

In addition, during the exercise an evaluation team from the NATO Center of Excellence for Military Medicine from Budapest (MILMED COE) conducted Medical Evaluation (MEDEVAL) of the BMTF modules except C4I and PECC modules IAW NATO STANAG 2560 and procedures defined in the AMedP 1.6, 1.7. and 1.8. (documentation, personnel and equipment). BMTF Standing Organization personnel prepared all necessary documentation and equipment foreseen for evaluation, while the personnel in all modules demonstrated an enviable level of knowledge of procedures and content of the mentioned documents. The evaluation team has stated in the First Impression Report (FIR) that modules met all defined preconditions for achieving the highest level of operational capability. This is a good success and confirmation of BMTF SO efforts, as well as all partners involved in the BMTF project – Norwegian Armed Forces and United States European Command (USEUCOM), in terms of reaching the status of BMTF as a multinational medical unit with full operational capability. Final Evaluation Report (FER) will be delivered in the forthcoming period in accordance with the NATO MEDEVAL regulations.

The presence and operational work of the BMTF Role 2B Medical treatment facility caused a great interest of officials and representatives of the exercise organizers and command level, as well as other participants, who have repeatedly visited the BMTF during the exercise. The aforementioned officials were impressed by the capacities and professional skills of the BMTF staff and personnel as well as the BMTF project itself.

In addition, the Chairman of the BMTF Steering Board – Mr. Krste Malinkovski, Head of the Norwegian Armed Forces Joint Medical Services – Major General Jon Gerhard Reichelt, Deputy Chief  of the Serbian Military Medical Academy – Brigadier General Dragan Dincic, Director of the General Staff of the Army of North Macedonia – Major General Zoran Mileski and Slovenian Military Medical Unit Commander – Lieutenant Colonel Franjo Lipovec also paid a visit to the BMTF expressing their satisfaction with the work that was done so far and the achievements of the BMTF.