MEDEVAC Training

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 mission. "

"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."

Related links:
Nations of SFOR: Turkey, US
Training and Exercises

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Photo: 2Lt. Ozgur Cuce

86th Air Ambulance crew Flight Medic/Trainer Sgt. Carriere gives a briefing to SFOR Turkish Battalion Task Force Medical Team on the main features of the UH-60 helicopter.


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Photo: 2Lt. Ozgur Cuce

Flight Medic/Trainer Sgt. Carriere briefs the Turkish Medical Team on treating a patient according to the type of injury.


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Photo: 2Lt. Omer Cittir

Turkish Medical Team loads a patient into a static helicopter. This training is included in the practical part of MEDEVAC.


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Photo: 2Lt. Omer Cittir

SFOR Turkish Medical Team members practise the proper way to unload a patient from a static UH-60 helicopter.


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Photo: 2Lt. Omer Cittir

A training demonstration of the 86th Air Ambulance Company. The professional demonstration of US Army Air crew impressed all of the members of the Turkish Medical Team.