NADI, Fiji – Soldiers assigned to 402nd Forward Resuscitative Surgical Team showcase the U.S. Tactical Combat Casualty Care program for Fijian and New Zealand partner medical teams during Exercise Cartwheel at Blackrock Training Camp, Fiji, September 14, 2022.
Exercise Cartwheel is a multilateral military-to-military training exercise with the U.S., Republic of Fiji Military, Australian, New Zealand, and British forces that builds expeditionary readiness and interoperability by increasing the capacity to face a crisis and contingencies by developing and stressing units at the highest training levels.
The exercise features opportunities for subject matter experts from all nations to exchange best practices across several functional areas. 1st Lt. Corin Swarbrick, a critical care nurse assigned to 402nd Forward Resuscitative Surgical Team, U.S. Army Reserve, points out that new ideas come from all partners.
“Yesterday, when we were teaching tourniquets for the first time, we learned a lot from the Fijian medics,” Swarbrick said. “They kind of taught us how to put on tourniquets differently than what we have been taught.”
Since medical practices are built on one standard, preserving life, multiple nations have similar programs. New Zealand Lance Cpl. Jamie Fisher, an infantryman assigned to 2nd/1st Battalion Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment, says that despite program similarities, Exercise Cartwheel is a chance to learn more in-depth practices.
“We do have a similar program,” Fisher said. He added that instruction for care at a level usually reserved for medics was also available during the exercise.
Later this week, Exercise Cartwheel will move to a field environment where Soldiers from all nations will show their unique skills. Fisher looks forward to seeing how partner nations perform in a jungle environment.
“I’m excited to see how the different nations operate in the bush,” Fisher said. “[New Zealand is] quite well known for our bush activities back home, so it will be interesting to see how the other nations work in the bush and how similar they are to us.”