HomeNewsArticle Display

Vigorous Warrior 19 ensures readiness, strong partnerships for US Air Force medics

Maj. Robert Wetzler, pediatrician, 86th Medical Group, Ramstein Air Base, Germany, participates in a multinational medical exercise drill during Vigorous Warrior 19, Cincu Military Base, Romania, April 9, 2019. Vigorous Warrior 19 is NATO’s largest-ever military medical exercise, uniting more than 2,500 participants from 39 countries to exercise experimental doctrinal concepts and test their medical assets together in a dynamic, multinational environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by 1st Lt. Andrew Layton)

Maj. Robert Wetzler, 86th Medical Group pediatrician, Ramstein Air Base, Germany, participates in a multinational medical exercise drill during exercise Vigorous Warrior 19, Cincu Military Base, Romania, April 9, 2019. Vigorous Warrior 19 is NATO’s largest-ever military medical exercise, uniting more than 2,500 participants from 39 countries to exercise experimental doctrinal concepts and test their medical assets together in a dynamic, multinational environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by 1st Lt. Andrew Layton)

Vigorous Warrior 19 is NATO’s largest-ever military medical exercise, uniting more than 2,500 participants from 39 countries to exercise experimental doctrinal concepts and test their medical assets together in a dynamic, multinational environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by 1st Lt. Andrew Layton)

Airmen from the 86th Medical Group, Ramstein Air Base, Germany, participate in a multinational medical evacuation exercise drill with a Polish Mi-17 helicopter during exercise Vigorous Warrior 19, Cincu Military Base, Romania, April 9, 2019. Vigorous Warrior 19 is NATO’s largest-ever military medical exercise, uniting more than 2,500 participants from 39 countries to exercise experimental doctrinal concepts and test their medical assets together in a dynamic, multinational environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by 1st Lt. Andrew Layton)

Vigorous Warrior 19 is NATO’s largest-ever military medical exercise, uniting more than 2,500 participants from 39 countries to exercise experimental doctrinal concepts and test their medical assets together in a dynamic, multinational environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by 1st Lt. Andrew Layton)

Senior Airman Juan Cortez, 86th Medical Group aerospace medical technician, Ramstein Air Base, Germany, participates in a multinational color guard during closing ceremonies for exercise Vigorous Warrior 19, Cincu Military Base, Romania, April 12, 2019. Vigorous Warrior 19 is NATO’s largest-ever military medical exercise, uniting more than 2,500 participants from 39 countries to exercise experimental doctrinal concepts and test their medical assets together in a dynamic, multinational environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by 1st Lt. Andrew Layton)

Vigorous Warrior 19 is NATO’s largest-ever military medical exercise, uniting more than 2,500 participants from 39 countries to exercise experimental doctrinal concepts and test their medical assets together in a dynamic, multinational environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by 1st Lt. Andrew Layton)

Airmen from the 86th Medical Group, Ramstein Air Base, Germany, participate in a multinational medical exercise drill with allied partners from Norway during Vigorous Warrior 19, Cincu Military Base, Romania, April 7, 2019. Vigorous Warrior 19 is NATO’s largest-ever military medical exercise, uniting more than 2,500 participants from 39 countries to exercise experimental doctrinal concepts and test their medical assets together in a dynamic, multinational environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by 1st Lt. Andrew Layton)

CINCU, Romania (AFNS) --

Exercise Vigorous Warrior 19, NATO’s largest-ever medical readiness event, ended April 11 with ceremonies at Cincu Military Base, Romania. Beginning April 3, approximately 50 Airmen from the 86th Medical Group, Ramstein Air Base, Germany, worked with over 2,500 military personnel from 39 NATO and partner countries to improve interoperability and readiness in a simulated Article 5 combat scenario.

For the U.S. Airmen participating, the exercise provided valuable experience operating an expeditionary medical support system, essentially a modular field hospital designed to be deployed and fully operational within six hours of arrival in an area of responsibility. The EMEDS is considered a Role 2 medical facility under NATO doctrine.

“When we started the exercise, I asked the team how many of them had deployed in a setting of trauma patients and only seven people raised their hands out of the 49 we have here,” said Chief Master Sgt. Amy Riley, 86th MDG group superintendent. “I think one of the lessons learned for them is the ability to move outside a clinical setting, which is very controlled, into a very uncontrolled environment. It proves a lot when you put them in a realistic training scenario such as this, pushing them outside their comfort zone.”

This year marks the fifth time Vigorous Warrior has been held biannually at locations across Europe, and the first time that U.S. Air Force assets have participated in the exercise.

During Vigorous Warrior 19, medical personnel were subjected to a rigorous operations tempo that included more than 1,000 scenario injects, 300 medical actions, and more than 1,500 simulated casualties. The two-year planning process for this battery of drills was overseen by the NATO Centre of Excellence for Military Medicine, Budapest, Hungary, led by Col. Dr. László Fazekas, Hungarian Armed Forces.

“From these 39 nations, it’s not only military personnel, but civilian medical specialists,” Fazekas said. “In every Vigorous Warrior exercise, we try to include a new theme into the training objectives, and this time one of the new things was to work in close cooperation with civilian medical forces; in this exercise we had 600 civilians participating from many non-governmental organizations, as well as the disaster response systems of Romania and Hungary.”

Fazekas also pointed out that cooperation between military and civilian medical counterparts works for the benefit of troops and civilians alike, helping to ensure the best possible stewardship of resources by sharing and pooling knowledge, experience, equipment and facilities.

“It is a military medical platform for many issues, first of all training for multinational personnel; but as a platform, it has many other purposes,” Fazekas said. “We can test our new concepts here, we can test doctrine, and we can even perform scientific research together.”

Airmen participating in Vigorous Warrior 19 took full advantage of the opportunity to share knowledge and build professional relationships with colleagues from a diversity of backgrounds. On Thursday, a surgical team from the 86 MDG integrated into the exercise’s Romanian armed forces Role 3 medical facility, and vice versa. Both teams participated in a pair of challenging surgical drills at their respective sites, adapting together in an unfamiliar space with colleagues who did not share a native language. Experts from the NATO MilMed COE said afterward that had the exchange occurred in a real-world scenario, the surgical actions performed would likely have been successful in saving the patients’ lives.

“With our Romanian partners coming into our facility, we demonstrated that we can actually stabilize patients in an integrated environment,” said Col. Michael Roberts, 86th MDG commander. “The interoperability piece to that is huge, because it’s not going to be individual nations operating alone in an Article 5 combat situation; it would be all of us in NATO, participating across a common line as partners.”

The 86th MDG’s participation in Vigorous Warrior 19 was funded by the European Deterrence Initiative, which underwrites improvements and activities that increase U.S. European Command’s warfighting capabilities, assuring allies of the U.S. commitment to regional security and territorial integrity while simultaneously increasing the capability, readiness and responsiveness of the alliance’s forces.

The dividends from this kind of investment into U.S./European strategic partnerships are clearly visible.

“The strategic importance of multinational training, especially in a NATO context, is absolutely monumental; it’s paramount to us doing our job from an Article 5 perspective,” Roberts said. “The more we can do this, collectively, as a group of nations on the field, the better off we’ll be if we are called upon to do this in the real world.”

Engage

Twitter
RT @AFGlobalStrike: Make sure you're still washing your hands and following CDC precautionary guidelines to help protect yourself and other…
Twitter
Twitter
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: There are rarely parades or accolades given to those in the business of anticipating and avoiding catastrophic enemy a…
Twitter
One pilot was killed when a U.S. Air Force F-16CM Fighting Falcon assigned to Shaw Air Force Base crashed at approx… https://t.co/iBc3rCDzSw
Twitter
Senior Airman Ezra Chavez, 31st Civil Engineer Squadron EOD flight, dons a new EOD 10 bomb suit @AirAviano. The sui… https://t.co/7AxzoWTNGf
Twitter
.@910AW maintenance Airmen are planning to save costs and increase efficiency with a new 3D printer. @USAFReservehttps://t.co/fOUWO8YhKs
Twitter
The E-3 Sentry is an airborne warning & control system, or AWACS, aircraft w/ an integrated command & control battl… https://t.co/qM1mXkvqow
Twitter
.@EielsonAirForce Airmen conducted airborne training to maintain operational readiness at Joint Base Elmendorf-Rich… https://t.co/5ivZf24ay8
Twitter
RT @HQ_AFMC: Know your #rights: Service members are protected by the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, a law designed to ease financial bur…
Twitter
“Publishing JADO doctrine is a first step in changing how we think and conduct operations with the reemergence of g… https://t.co/9wnN5ILNS2
Twitter
RT @AETCommand: Have you checked @AFWERX’s #DisruptiveAF🎙pod? Check it out! https://t.co/NAMYv6OSLd
Twitter
The 317th Airlift Wing @DyessAFBase recently finished the first round of the new 4/12 C-130 deployment cycle. The c… https://t.co/Pw9tw2NIqq
Twitter
We control the air in this multi-domain fight! #ReadyAF #AimHigh https://t.co/6SYQwbs2ym
Twitter
They called it "the biggest test of @NATO Allies’ ability" in years. #TotalForce #ReadyAF #AimHigh https://t.co/brNWrvaMch
Twitter
.@GenDaveGoldfein visited @RobinsAFB_GA to get updates on the installation. He heard about how missions have progre… https://t.co/4Hvz5ZvRJ8
Twitter
.@SecAFOfficial outlines the Air Force's 4 top priorities: build the Space Force, modernize the Air and Space Force… https://t.co/pIkl23NVtG
Twitter
Register by August 1! Exercise your right to vote! https://t.co/SkTSooPFrr
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,245,667
Follow Us