The international training exercise Iron Wolf 2023–I that kicked off on May 8 involves over 3,500 troops with over 600 vehicles from Lithuania and 11 other NATO Allies practicing planning and execution of offensive defensive and other types of exercises. Over its course of two weeks the exercise also tests and strengthens interoperability with the Lithuanian healthcare sector. On May 16 Minister of Health Arūnas Dulkysand Chief of Defence of Lithuania Lt Gen Valdemaras Rupšys observed the portion of training conducted by military personnel of the Military Medical Service at a temporary field hospital in Pravieniškės II village (Kaišiadorys regional municipality), including medical airlift of the injured to the Hospital of Lithuanian University of Health Sciences in Kaunas.
“Even NATO requirements for healthcare sectors regulate that readiness of institutions in the sector starts with ensuring critical resources to prevent disruption. This exercise collaborates with the Hospital of Lithuanian University of Health Sciences for a reason: it has one of the best levels of emergency readiness in the entire country. There are clear-cut algorithms and requirements for healthcare institutions regarding emergency readiness, however, we ought to admit that different institutions maintain a different level of readiness at present. There are plans to focus on better compliance with the standards so that more healthcare institutions can train with the Lithuanian Armed Forces,” says Minister of Health A. Dulkys.
The training simulated a counter-attack that resulted in personnel injuries. Troops are administered first aid on site using the aid and life support supplies provided in the Lithuanian armed Forces medical kit. Then, the injured are transported to Role II field hospital by a M113 armored carrier to receive further care, their condition is stabilized, and the injured are further taken to civilian healthcare establishments, in the case of this exercise to the Hospital of Lithuanian University of Health Sciences. The most badly injured troops are prepared for medical evacuation by Lithuanian Air Force Mi-8 helicopters and taken to the Hospital of Lithuanian University of Health Sciences for further treatment.
“Lithuanian troops maintain readiness on a daily basis, from individual to collective tasks, and tasks with Allies. We are drilling the medical part during each exercise as well. That involves public institutions. It is an integral part of readiness for national defence,” says Chief of Defence Lt Gen V. Rupšys.
The NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battalion Battle Group Lithuania and the Lithuanian Armed Forces Vaidotas Infantry Battalion conduct “force on force” training at the international Exercise Iron Wolf 2023-I. The exercise is annually held by the Lithuanian Armed Forces Infantry Brigade Iron Wolf to tests combat readiness of its subordinate units and to synchronize standard operation procedures.
Photo credits: SSgt Spc Ieva Budzeikaitė