By Sgt. Shiloh CapersJune 19, 2017
SVENTEZERIS, Lithuania - A combined forces exercise transitioned into a medical evacuation exercise with mock injured Soldiers outside Sventezeris, Lithuania, June 18.
The 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, Minnesota National Guardsmen, United Kingdom's British Royal Marines and Polish Army Soldiers conducted a ground assault on defensive forces, portrayed by Lithuanian Army Soldiers, to obtain control of road access. The ground assault naturally provided a smooth transition into the medical evacuation (medevac) portion with mock casualties during Exercise Saber Strike in Lithuania.
Saber Strike is a U.S. Army Europe-led training exercise in the Baltic region. The exercise tests the capability of multiple nations to act together against a threat.
The 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division,Minnesota National Guardsmen, United Kingdom's British Royal Marines and Polish Army Soldiers trained as a platoon for two days, rehearsing movements before being flown into a nearby location the day before. The platoon put their battle plan into action as they overcame the defensive forces, demonstrating skill and speed.
The ground assault provided the opportunity to include medevac training with mock casualties into the exercise in Lithuania.
Medevac training is a unique process and all nations should have that experience, said Lt. Col. Ryan Meidema, commander of Task Force Phoenix, 3rd General Support Aviation Battalion, 10th Aviation Regiment, 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, New York.
"By us bringing in our aircraft, it exposes them to that type of process, radio calls (for support) and how to request it," Meidema said. "I've sat in meetings and our Allies have not had the chance to talk to aircraft on the ground side. It's mainly their air controllers that talk to aircraft, so bringing in the medevac gives other forces a chance to learn how to speak to the aircraft."
A common foundation of knowledge is necessary to communicate, to build combat power or to assemble swiftly and with agility, to bring combat forces against the enemy or to reassure Allies, he said.
Exercises like Saber Strike enable countries to strengthen bonds and improve military capabilities. The environment encourages combined training to share military skills to achieve tasks. Being in a combined exercise allows Soldiers to interact and learn new skills. It cements knowledge into action and experience.
"In this field exercise, we integrated different assets and had the opportunity to improve individual and collective skills," said Capt. Tomas Malakauskas, 1st company commander, Duke Vaidotas Mechanized Infantry Battalion, Iron Wolf Mechanized Infantry Brigade, Lithuanian Land Forces. "We focused on procedures and its (different) levels from the Soldier to headquarters and commanders."