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Pacific Partnership 2019 introduces helicopter en route medical care

A Philippine Fire Department rescue worker lifts a simulated earthquake victim onto a Philippine Air Force rescue helicopter during the Pacific Partnership 2019 exercise in Tacloban, Philippines. The goal of the Pacific Partnership is to improve interoperability of the region's military forces, governments, and humanitarian organizations during disaster relief operations, while providing humanitarian, medical, dental, and engineering assistance to nations of the Pacific all while strengthening relationships and security ties between the partner nations (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Andrew Jackson) A Philippine Fire Department rescue worker lifts a simulated earthquake victim onto a Philippine Air Force rescue helicopter during the Pacific Partnership 2019 exercise in Tacloban, Philippines. The goal of the Pacific Partnership is to improve interoperability of the region's military forces, governments, and humanitarian organizations during disaster relief operations, while providing humanitarian, medical, dental, and engineering assistance to nations of the Pacific all while strengthening relationships and security ties between the partner nations (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Andrew Jackson)

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TACLOBAN, Philippines – Pacific Partnership personnel partnered with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine emergency responders to train in enroute medical care helicopter operations in Tacloban, recently.

The exercise is an opportunity for the U.S. and partner nation personnel to work alongside their counterparts to enhance field medical capabilities in times of humanitarian assistance and disaster response. 

“What we’re developing is an expeditionary skill set of enroute care and applying it to disaster management in the Philippines,” said Lt. Cmdr. Erik Hardy, the U.S. Navy liaison at the Joint Enroute Care Schoolhouse. “We’re teaching our local civilian partners, community partners and local AFP the basics of safe and effective patient treatment and movement independent of platform.”

The exercise is an important part of disaster risk reduction where emergency responders learn to use ground and rotary wing transport assets to carefully evacuate injured personnel to treatment facilities. The aim of the program is for a continuity of education among partner nation military and emergency responders.

“What we’re hoping for is that they will be better equipped to develop a [training] program which would allow them to disseminate and share this information with other organizations,” said Royal Air Force Reserves Flight Lieutenant John Carolan-Cullion. 

The training uses local and regional medical evacuation capabilities and develops tactics that can broaden partner nation capabilities when disaster strikes in various regions throughout the world.

“This is an expeditionary medical skillset,” said Hardy. “It is the capability, when called upon in these global health engagement opportunities, to work with a country that may be prone to a disaster and collaborate with our partner forces.”

Pacific Partnership, now in its 14th iteration, is the largest annual multinational humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission conducted in the Indo-Pacific. Each year, the mission team works collectively with host and partner nations to enhance regional interoperability and disaster response capabilities, increase stability and security in the region, and foster new and enduring friendships in the Indo-Pacific.

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