Royal Air Force medics have recently undertaken a testing exercise for vital medical equipment under the extreme arctic conditions of Norway.
Exercise Arctic Phoenix, held at Bardufoss Air Station in the northern part of Norway, involved assessing medical equipment both on the ground and onboard an Atlas A400M tactical transport aircraft.
Flight Lieutenant Barrett, Aeromedical Evacuation Team Lead, described the exercise’s importance in a Royal Air Force press release: “This exercise has been vital to understanding our medical equipment’s capabilities in the extremes of the cold weather environment, acting as a stepping stone to allowing us to operate in similar conditions in the future.”
The exercise tested more than 20 types of medical equipment, including patient monitoring devices, blood storage containers, and communications systems. The primary aim was to understand how the harsh arctic conditions could influence medical operations.
Specialists from various RAF sections, such as communications, security, engineering, logistics, and aircrew, participated in Exercise Arctic Phoenix. The exercise also included Typhoon fighter jets operating with Norwegian F35As in Ørland, while ground forces in the northern region focused on equipment, procedural, and tactical testing in the cold conditions.
The medical team involved in the exercise comprised members of the RAF’s Critical Care Air Support Team and Medical Emergency Response Team. These teams, responsible for treating and evacuating the wounded during military operations, were supported by technicians tasked with maintaining the medical equipment.