Capt. Josip Fabian Horvat
First published in
SFOR Informer#156, January 23, 2003
The German SFOR Tactical Medical Unit under its Commander,
Cdr (Navy) Dr. Detlef Iske, does a number of tasks. One of
them is to run the modern field hospital at Camp Rajlovac,
which ensures treatment for the SFOR troops stationed in Bosnia
and Herzegovina. Surgical, internal and emergency treatment
is guaranteed at all times, and all the requisite departments
Rajlovac - A lot of unnoticed services are provided by the
German Medics as well. The services of the field hospital
in Rajlovac are available to all the SFOR troops stationed
in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
"We have so far during the tour of this contingent provided
in-patient treatment alone for soldiers from twelve nations,"
says Clinic Director Col. Dr. Joachim Hoitz.
"Others come every day for out-patient care. United Nations
and European Union personnel working in the country also avail
themselves of our medical assistance whenever we can fit them
in." So SFOR personnel at Camp Rajlovac are not the only
ones who enjoy the privilege of receiving 'top-class' care.
There was a special case in Dec. 2002: the provision of medical
treatment for the injured Slovakian soldiers, whose helicopter
crashed on Christmas Eve in Travnik. The casualties had already
been moved to the local hospital by civil forces before the
crash was reported.
"Our field hospital team had a key hand in the crucial
follow-on medical treatment administered, including the evacuation
of the soldiers to Slovakia," said Hoitz. Maj. Jürgen
Kerschowski agrees with him, adding: "The close and smooth
interaction between all the members of the Clinic Coy, the
RCC (Rescue Coordination Centre) and the Medevac Coy shows
that every soldier can expect excellent and competent medical
treatment. This is key to survival, especially in emergencies."
Maj. Kerschowski was likewise involved in the treatment of
the seriously injured Slovaks. This helicopter's crash shows
how dangerous emergency situations can be and how important
it is that all the 'cogs in a machine' perform their functions.
Excerpts from the journal kept by the RCC
14:00: SFOR helicopter crashes near the Bosnian town
of Travnik (Netherlands AOR). The three injured Slovaks
are administered initial treatment at the town hospital.
16:00: More precise information received from Netherlands
surgeons. The decision is made to move the two serious casualties
straight to Sarajevo University Hospital. Specialist neurosurgeons
may be required, and the field hospital does not have any
on its staff. The field hospital details an anaesthetist
and a surgeon to provide medical assistance. The casualties
from Travnik arrive at the hospital at the same time as
the German medical team.
17:00: University hospital: a diagnosis is made in
the presence of the German team. One of the casualties will
be moved to the Intensive care unit of the German field
24:00: The first casualty arrives in Rajlovac. The
second serious casualty undergoes an operation at the university
Morning: COMSFOR, Lt. Gen. William E. Ward, visits
the university hospital and the intensive care unit of the
field hospital. He has a great deal of praise to express
for the immense commitment shown by the German surgeons
and nursing staff and for the excellent equipment available
at the German field hospital.
Evening: Third casualty arrives from Travnik.
After visiting the injured at the field hospital and the
university hospital, the team of surgeons makes a decision:
the injured are to be evacuated quickly to Bratislava, capital
The Netherlands Air Force offers to provide its Medevac
10:00: The injured are moved to Sarajevo Airport.
The Medevac Coy provides Fuchs armoured medical transport
13:00: The casualties are flown out.
Evening: Report is received that they have arrived safely
Nations of SFOR: Germany,