2Lt. Omer Cittir
First published June 23, 2003
On 27-28 May 2003 in Zenica. The 86th Air Ambulance Team
under the command of US Maj. John Johnston from Eagle Base
and the Medical Team of the Turkish Battalion Task Force conducted
a joint MEDEVAC (Medical Evacuation) exercise and training.
Zenica - MEDEVAC included familiarisation of UH-60 helicopters.
In this respect, doctors, medics and soldiers of Turkish Battalion
Medical Team were instructed on loading a patient in an UH-60,
both static and live.
First phase in Zenica
The first phase of the exercise was conducted in SFOR TU BN
TF Fatih Sultan Mehmet Barracks in Zenica through the co-ordination
of the Medical Team Commander Capt. R. Levent Mermer, the
US Liaison Officer Capt. Daniel Evasco, and the TU BN LNO
in Eagle Base, Capt. Fethi Karadag.
The US Army crews included 86th Air Ambulance Commander Maj.
John Johnston, Pilots CW3 John Heverly and CW2 Keith Leblanc,
Crew Chief SSG Peter Ferrell, and Flight Medic/Trainer Sgt.
Beth Carriere. The Turkish Medical Team included Medical Team
Commander Mermer, NCO Medics Hakan Kaynarpinar, Ahmen Aydin
and Fatih Akkaya, Nurse Fahriye Erdil and four medical soldiers.
The MEDEVAC instructions deal with nine steps: location of
landing zone, radio frequency/call sign, number of patients
by category, special equipment required, number of patients
by type, security of landing site, number and types of wounds,
method of marking landing zone, patient nationality, and description
of terrain or hazards.
Benefits of working together
Johnston stated: "I always enjoy working with multinational
forces. It is a great learning experience during our rotation.
We really enjoyed the training. The Turkish BN TF soldiers,
doctors and medics were very professional and hospitable."
The US Army flight crew was also given a tour of the Turkish
BN hospital and met the hospital staff. Following to the tour,
Mermer stated: "We, SFOR Turkish Battalion Medical Team,
are well aware of the fact that any time and in any condition
we have to be ready. We must fulfil the mission at the soonest
possible time we are required to. That's why we exchange our
knowledge and experiences with personnel from other nations
on the occasions of training, exercise, conference and joint
"During the MEDEVAC training conducted with the 86th
Air Ambulance Company, we got the benefit of this unit's knowledge
and experiences. It was a pleasure for us to work with them.
We well learned about their merriment, courage and professional
working discipline. We hope to conduct similar future activities."
Nations of SFOR: Turkey,
Training and Exercises