Vigorous Warrior 2019: Italian Air Force trains for bio-containment transport

The transport of a highly infectious patient aboard an Italian Air Force C-130J was the focus of the largest NATO health exercise in Romania.

NATO Vigorous Warrior bio-containment transport
Italian Air Force trains for bio-containment transport.

There are several cases of highly infectious diseases that require air transport in bio-containment such as the Ebola virus, hemorrhagic fever, tuberculosis, Dengue and Monkeypox fever. These types of missions can save lives, but the procedures are not simple and require excellent training.

This is the reason why the Italian Air Force has recently participated in the largest NATO exercise in health care, the Vigorous Warrior 2019. The exercise took place in Romania and was coordinated by the NATO Centre of Excellence for Military Medicine in Budapest and has included specialized health units and land, air and naval rescue assets from different nations. It was intended to develop health support capabilities for military operations, both within NATO and the EU, including responding to possible epidemics or biological contamination in a civil and military context. Italy participated in the event with the personnel of the General Inspectorate of Military Health and the
Armed Forces Healthcare, to acquire the necessary organizational experience to host the 2021 edition.

Among the various activities, the Vigorous Warrior included the simulation of a bio-containment transport of a soldier hit by a highly infectious pathology during an operation abroad. A C-130J of the 46th Air Brigade at Pisa, Italy, took off from Pratica di Mare AB, Rome province, carrying a team of Italian Air Force specialized in bio-containment and reached Campia Turzii AB, Romania. At the Romanian airport the Italian personnel took charge of the patient from an English unit to transport him to the Spallanzani Hospital in Rome, which is one of the reference centers in Italy for this type of emergency. This activity tested for the first time in an international exercise the ability of joint intervention between military medical teams of different nations with a civil health facility.

These missions are not only for military personnel. In 2006, the Italian Air Force carried out the bio-containment transport of a civil patient suffering from multi-resistant tuberculosis. Later, military personnel intervened to transport two "Emergency" health workers affected by the Ebola virus during their humanitarian mission in Sierra Leone.

The Italian Air Force, thanks to the experience gained in this type of activity since 2005 and to its special isolation stretchers, is today among the world's leading air forces in the field of high-bio-containment air transport.

Written by Matteo Sanzani
Source, Images: Italian Air Force

No comments

All comments related to the contents of our articles are welcome. It is not allowed to post promotional messages, links to external sites, or references to activities not related to this blog.

Powered by Blogger.