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Exercise Blue Light - when help comes fast

By Capt. Knut B. Andersen
First published in
SFOR Informer #88, May 24, 2000

Mrkonjic Grad - May 17, Exercise Blue Light was carried out north of Mrkonjic Grad by the UK units deployed in the town. The scenario involved an SFOR bus involved in an accident with two civilian vehicles, with a large number of resulting casualties.

The ambulances and MPs from Mrkonjic Grad Bus Depot responded quickly to the emergency message, and immediately started to secure the area and give first aid to the casualties. It was soon established that the number of SFOR and civilian casualties was large, and helicopters from Split, Banja Luka, Tuzla and Sisava were called in to evacuate the injured to the different hospitals.

The exercise also involved injured being stuck in the wrecked cars. Therefore, firemen from Banja Luka were brought to the scene, and cut them out of the wrecked cars. In addition, the mine danger was taken into consideration; an EOD team was brought to the scene.

A total of five helicopters were used for the evacuation. Chinooks, Sea Kings and Blackhawks took part in the exercise, proving that casualties may be brought to proper facilities, and given the best treatment within a short time.

As part of casualty readiness, MND -SW arranges MEDEVAC (Medical Evacuation) Exercises on a regular basis. The scenarios are always made as realistic as possible, making sure the alert readiness is swift.

Also, as an important part of SFOR operations, units from different nations and divisions train together, to secure co-operation in case of an emergency. Scenarios like Exercise Blue Light helps SFOR train this, ensuring an effective response when needed.

Related links:
Training and Exercises
The Nations of SFOR: UK