US and NATO use lessons from Ukraine in medical evacuation exercises

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A bright dot approaches in the distance somewhere in the middle of Latvia. It’s around midnight and pitch black, but the special forces aircraft will attempt to land in the darkness on a two-lane civilian highway.

Equipped with night vision goggles, pilots and ground crew are able to successfully coordinate and land the aircraft.

It is part of the medical training that US and NATO special forces are doing in the Baltic region, implementing practices they learned from the conflict in Ukraine.

The main lesson they learned is that air superiority may be a thing of the past, and air evacuations using fast-moving helicopters may not be possible.

“Look at the battlefield now, look at Ukraine. What is flying? Not very reliable,” a NATO special forces member told CNN , on condition that they remain anonymous for security reasons. “The assumption is, if air is denied, where will this patient go? How are we going to transport him to the surgeon?”

This means it may take longer to get wounded soldiers to hospitals and operations may need to be carried out on or near the frontline.

“The spirit of what we’re doing is called extended victim care, extended care in the field,” the special forces service member explained. “And the concept is to identify the strategies that will help us prolong life to overcome this and get that patient to the surgeon.”

Some of the lessons of the war in Ukraine were also learned by observing how medics are operating on the battlefield, sometimes still under heavy fire.

“Ukrainians do a phenomenal job of reclaiming the battlefield and implementing some of these strategies, taking care of their patients along the way,” said the special forces service member. “They’re not just throwing a person into the back of a van and leaving them unattended. You’re putting someone with medical capability there with that patient while he’s being transferred – that’s the concept of en-route care.”

As they watch events unfold nearby, they say it is exactly the right time to prepare for the war of the future. member of the special forces.

Source: CNN Brasil

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