By 1Lt. Franois-Xavier Miller
First published in
SFOR Informer#107, February 21,
Doboj - The Blackhawk rotor's blades raise a cloud
of dust. As soon as it lands, two 'litters' (stretchers) were
immediately brought to the rescue helicopter's door by order of
Danish C-Squadron tank has been blown up by a mine. Two severely
wounded men, 1Lt. Bjarne Hundevad and Pfc. Michael Hald had to
be rushed to the hospital. Within seconds, the stretchers were
loaded, stowed, and Medevac started. But all of this was fortunately
just an exercise.
the only Cavalrymen to patrol with combat tanks in BiH, the Danes
from Nordpol are used to training for any conceivable event. A
mine or an accident could badly damage one of their Leopard 1A5,
and wound some crew members.
teams from 57th Med Coy Air Ambulance, based at Eagle Base, near
Tuzla, would be these good Samaritans who would come down through
the sky to rescue them. Likely rescuers and potential victims
must get to know each other and work together. This efficiency
is only gained from training, it could just save lives.
group discovers the other's equipment. The black bird with a red
cross is familiarizing with the white-cross-on-red-background
Leopard. 1Lt. Nathan A. Houk and Cw2 Chris Jordan, the pilots,
take a close look at the the Danish tank. On their side, the cavalrymen
pay respectful attention to the explainations given by Sgt. Richard
Swindell, Medic aboard, and by Sgt. Abel Guzman, crew chief. Everything
is being reviewed, from the aircraft's main features to the correct
way to hold the rescue hoist or to help loading an injuried person.
"I'm impressed. They don't have to work around, they can
turn it and work on both sides" said Lcpl Tommy Andersen,
taking about the 'Carousel', the rotary support for stretches
and medical equipment which takes up the cabin.
Swindell insists once again on safety measures. "The blades
go down to 1.50 m on the front and the rear sides. No one is that
small," he explained. "You always approach at right
angles to the doors, together and bending your heads."
then repetition as shown. Lcpl Willie Pedersen, due to his nearly
2 m. height, has been appointed as a volunteer to pretend to be
wounded and to lay down on the stretcher. If it is possible to
load Petersen, then any other patient would be no problem!
what about if the helicopter could not land close to the tank,
because of a live minefield for instance ? "We would land
on the tank ", answered Sgt Swindell seriously. As a matter
of fact, the winching up into the helicopter would be directly
carried out a few meters above the standstill armour. The crew
even demonstrated landing on the vehicle itself.
last comes the live reproduction of the exercise ! Four soldiers
bending their heads run to the lateral door to load the first
stretcher. They come back to pick up a second shaft holding each
another by the shoulder. Another trip within the warm blast of
the rotor and the Blackhawk takes off. Everyone would know its
job, should the need arise.
Nations of SFOR: US, Denmark
Training and Exercises