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Army SPECIAL LIFTOUT August 18, 2011
Winching people outside the aircraft is a relatively dangerous
activity, so we need to get the aircraft as low as possible ...
-- LT MICHAEL PERKINS, 5 AVN REGT
OVER THE EDGE: Cpl Howard Campbell, 5 Avn Regt, prepares to lower US Navy personnel from Australian
Army Black Hawk 224. Inset, a US Navy medic is lowered from the aircraft.
Photos by Cpl Melanie Schinkel
LCPL MARK DORAN
MEDICAL staff from 2HSB were primarily
responsible for providing first-class health
care for troops deployed to Shoalwater Bay
Training Area during the exercise.
The new complete Weatherhaven hospi-
tal was deployed at Camp Growl, ready for
patients on July 6.
At the start of the deployment 2HSB pro-
vided white force cover for elements moving
into the exercise area and completed training
serials as an online HSB.
During the training serials, 2HSB treated
more than 150 mock patients, simulating a real-
istic range of the injuries and illnesses possible
in the field, from severe burns to malaria.
CO Lt-Col Andy Williams said the exercise
was also an opportunity to deploy with almost
20 reservists, mainly senior specialists.
"We have some outstanding specialists in
emergency services, including anaesthetists and
intensive care specialists, and this is the first
time the new Weatherhaven system has been
rolled out as a HSB of this size," he said.
"One of the main challenges was trying to
integrate our training with caring for the real
sick and injured, as we have seen more patients
than we saw on Exercise Hamel in 2010."
The Weatherhaven hospital is flexible in
design, thermally efficient and has robust tacti-
cal shelters which can be joined together to form
READY TO RESPOND: CPO Paul Bodensteiner, Capt John Raff, AB
Cathy Mann, Lt David Colling, Corpsman Alecia Simpson, CPO Kathy
Canady and Cmdr Mark Schmidheiser formed the Joint AME Team.
Photo by LCpl Mark Doran
CPL MELANIE SCHINKEL
BLACK Hawk 224, 5 Avn Regt,
conducted winching operations to
requalify two US Navy medivac
personnel on the aircraft's hoist at
Camp Rocky so they could continue
to work with the aeromedical evacu-
ation (AME) teams.
The primary role of the Black
Hawks during the exercise was to sup-
port Australian and US personnel by
remaining on 30 minutes' notice to
move to provide both exercise and
Black Hawk 224 pilot Lt Michael
Perkins said the helicopters were
crewed by American and Australian
personnel during the exercise.
"Generally we stay with the aircraft
and wait for a call to come through.
When a call does come through, we
start the aircraft and get on the radio to
find out where we are going and who
we are picking up," Lt Perkins said.
"Winching people outside the air-
craft is a reasonably dangerous activ-
ity, so we need to get the aircraft as
low as possible and try to keep it at a
Black Hawk 224's right hand air-
crewman, Cpl Howard Campbell,
assisted the Americans during the
"Before conducting a winch, I brief
the person going down, hook him or
her up to the cable inside the aircraft
and check that everything is secure.
Then I guide the person to the aircraft
door and slowly hoist him or her down
on the cable," Cpl Campbell said.
"Once the person is safely on the
ground, he or she gives us a thumbs
"During an AME situation I pro-
vide assistance to the pilots and med-
ics as required. I also ensure that all
passengers are secure in the aircraft."
Hanging by a thread
LCPL MARK DORAN
PRIORITY two aeromedical evacu-
ation (AME) at Shoalwater Bay
Training Area was provided by
teams formed from the US Marine
Corps' 4th Medical Battalion and
two Australian Black Hawks.
AME team coordinator Lt-Col
David Collins, HQ Forcomd, said he
was comfortable with coalition part-
ners after working with US forces in
Iraq in 2005, when he was assigned
to a Combat Trauma Hospital for
eight months, and with the US Navy
on Pacific Partnership last year for
"The US medical teams'
approaches are very similar to ours
and the main differences are some
drug names and some minor techni-
cal issues, but that's what I am here
to work through," Lt-Col David
During familiarisation training to
learn the nuances of the Australian
medical system, Capt John Raff, US
Navy, said the exercise had been
a positive experience and helped
develop a good working relationship
"Ex Talisman Sabre has helped us
work out the kinks for actual opera-
tions so our two countries will know
how to work together. We have been
learning how to dovetail our technol-
ogy with the Australians -- we have
found it to be working very smooth-
ly," Capt Raff said.
"Australians seem to have differ-
ent perspectives and experiences, and
exchanging those with them has been
a very positive experience for us.
We can continue to grow and make a
very effective force."
CareFlight provided the priority
one AME capability for the exercise.
share evac option
CHECK UP: Lt Damien McFarlane, 3HSB, checks on his patient Cpl Julian Carey, Australia's Federation Guard, at the 2HSB hospital at the
Shoalwater Bay Training Area.
Photo by LCpl Mark Doran
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