Red Wing trains emergency
aid in Mostar
Maj. Viktor Nikolla
First published March 26, 2003
On March 19, 2003, Multinational Brigade Southeast (MNB-SE)
conducted the Red Wing exercise at Mostar Airport. The exercise
was designed to validate how emergency procedures and emergency
co-ordination work and to train personnel how to respond to
an air crash at the airport.
Mostar - An aeroplane had just arrived and another one was
expected to land. Although it was wintertime it was a warm
day and seemed as if it was a summer day. At noon a light
breeze began to blow. Slowly it was becoming stronger and
stronger. Nobody could imagine that very soon it would cause
The scene and behind the scene
A few minutes past 2 p.m. a Hercules C-130 with 26 passengers
on board crashed upon landing due to gusty 'Bora' winds at
the South - Southeast, between the runway and taxiway. It
broke into pieces and started to burn. Massive black dense
clouds of smoke rose into the sky and overwhelmed the airfield.
The crash caused several casualties and the crew and passengers
of the aeroplane were seriously injured. Fires were caused
around the runways' surroundings. Screams of pain of wounded
people could be heard everywhere.
The wounded passengers should be removed and treated. Fires
should be extinguished. Normality should return to the airport.
It was a situation that needed to execute the emergency response
procedure. Fortunately, it was not real, this was only the
scenario for the Red Wing exercise.
The fire fighter team from French Air Detachment (DETAIR)
took the call from the Control Tower. They were the first
on the spot, equipped with two tank trucks filled with water
they began to treat the fires. "Our task is to extinguish
the fire, and after it to detect the victims," said French
WO2 Didier Weber, leader of the fire fighter team.
The GSAN (Groupement sanitaire, Medic Team) then arrived at
the crash site and quickly began administering first aid to
the injured people. Meanwhile, near the crash site, a tent
was pitched. It was the medical advanced post (MAP), which
filled the role of a field hospital. After first aid, injured
people would be evacuated from the crash site to the MAP for
further treatment. Military police deployed a safety cordon
in order to secure the crash site. They were performing their
tasks by checking vehicles and preventing non-concerned people
from getting into the operational area.
Participants belonging to the five nations from MNB-SE (French,
German, Italian, Moroccan and Spanish) they were all part
of different teams. Even though it was an international environment
they had the same standard operating instructions and each
element of the teams was calm and carried out its business
in a professional manner.
Spanish Maj. José Molino was in charge of the execution
of the exercise. He said: "In order to be a successful
exercise it is very important for every player to act in accordance
with the emergency procedure. It is necessary to exercise
so that if a plane crashes in reality we are prepared."
Did the exercise reach its objective? Did the normality come
back at the airport? Was it a success? Without any doubt.
The DETAIR team, still in charge with all the safety, security
and medical aspects in Mostar Airport, is ready to answer
to any incident occurring there. One day, it will be the turn
of the local authorities.
Nations of SFOR: Spain,
Training and Exercises