Airborne army medics practice their skills on training exercise in York

Airborne medics from Colchester-based 19 Medical Squadron, 16 Medical Regiment take part in a traini

Airborne medics from Colchester-based 19 Medical Squadron, 16 Medical Regiment take part in a training exercise in York. Photo: Sgt Jamie Peters RLC - Credit: Sergeant Jamie Peters RLC (Phot)

Army medics have been put through their paces in an exercise designed to test their skills and equipment in the heat of operations.

Taking part in the training was 19 Medical Squadron, 16 Medical Regiment from Colchester which set up a Role 2 Basic Medical Treatment Facility (R2B).

The R2B is designed to be transported by air with the medics using it to treat casualties with injuries ranging from gun shot wounds to infected insect bites.

16 Medical Regiment provides medical support to 16 Air Assault Brigade. Specialist personnel in the unit, based at Merville Barracks in Colchester, include consultant orthopaedic surgeons, biomedical scientists and combat medical technicians who are trained and equipped to deploy by parachute, helicopter or airlanding.

Major Steve Wignall, officer commanding 19 Med Sqn, said: “On operations our role is to provide lifesaving care to casualties from the point of injury and give ongoing treatment until they can be evacuated back to larger and more capable hospitals.

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“This exercise is about ensuring our skills are up to speed so that we are ready to deploy.

“Our medics have gone through very thorough training to prepare and have to work within the NHS to keep up their clinical qualifications, train on their military medical role and keep up their soldiering skills.”

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Combat medical technician private Marcus Preston worked with the squadron’s ambulance troop, bringing simulated casualties into the R2B.

He said: “We’ve been under pressure but I felt well prepared and proud of how I’ve done my job.

“I’ve worked for about six weeks in an NHS hospital over the last year, in both A&E and on wards, and that experience of dealing with real casualties has given me confidence if we do deploy on operations.”

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