“Committed to the health of our forces”


The Main Planning Conference of the Vigorous Warrior 22 - Casualty Move 22 combined Tabletop Exercise has been concluded in Budapest, Hungary.

The Main Planning Conference is a key milestone in the planning process which was demonstrated by the attendance of 64 participants with representatives from NATO and partner nations. During the main planning conference in Budapest, planned by the NATO MILMED COE as host and taking place from Oct. 20-2021 to Oct. 21-2021, both entities set the framework and goals for next year's event. "I am glad that the conference, despite the large number of participants, 64 from NATO and partner nations, worked smoothly and in accordance with the specifications," said the Dutch planning officer of the NATO MILMED COE, Lieutenant Colonel Jos Schepers.

A partnership where 1+1 makes more than 2.: In his opening remarks, MILMED CoE Director Surgeon General Dr. Klagges reflected on the Vigorous Warrior Exercise Series: “The exercise series date back to 2011 in Hungary with 5 participating Nations, expanded to 11 Nations by 2013 in Germany, 14 by 2015 in the Czech Republic, 26 by 2017 in Germany again and in 2019 in Romania with 39 Nations and a considerable civilian component making it the largest NATO medical exercise ever.” Then he further stated that while the pandemic affected planning, it also proved to be an opportunity where a new format with new benefits could be tested. He also said he was pleased "that conducting a tabletop exercise led us to look for partners who were specifically knowledgeable about this format, and that we were able to partner with the Military Medical Coordination Centre / European Medical Command to host this event. There is no better example of synergy in the NATO medical field than our partnership, where 1+1 certainly makes more than 2."

Patient Tracking and Management in the NATO Alliance Case.
From March 28-April 09, 2022, exercise participants will coordinate and administratively manage patients and their transport from the time they are wounded to their respective home countries in an alliance case scenario under Article 5 of NATO's North Atlantic Treaty.
Core challenges, according to Col. Juergen Muntenaar, MMCC/EMC deputy director for NATO affairs, will be the systematic flow of patient tracking because "the systems and procedures were known 30 years ago. We as NATO are currently in the process of rediscovering them."

Caring for our wounded is paramount
Surgeon General Dr. Kowitz, the director of the MMCC/EMC was equally positive and focused: "I am pleased that we can bring our wargaming expertise to such a large exercise. But in the end, it's all about improving processes and getting the best care for our wounded."

The next step in planning will be to further refine the individual exercise sections that have been roughly outlined so far. In renewed joint conferences in Budapest and Koblenz, the results of the planning teams will be perfected by next April.

By Maj Rico Maderthoner and Maj Máté Tóth


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