JAKARTA, Indonesia --
Members of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command and the Indonesian National Armed Forces (TNI) participated in a Casualty Evacuation Subject Matter Expert Exchange on full spectrum patient movement in Jakarta, Indonesia, July 18, 2019.
This inaugural, bilateral-joint, collaborative effort between the U.S. services – Pacific Air Forces, Marine Forces Pacific, U.S. Army Pacific, U.S. Navy, U.S. AID – and TNI – Navy, Army, Marines and Air Force – shared lessons learned and best practices on how to move patients across water, land, and air.
The goal of this SMEE is to draft a standard operating procedure for joint casualty evacuations operations within the TNI forces for domestic and regional Humanitarian Assistance Disaster Relief response and peacekeeping operations.
“Produce ideas that are constructive and creative, so the activities of exchanging science and experience in the procedure of handling victims can be carried out well, quickly and precisely,” said Maj. Gen. Ben Yua Rimba, TNI Surgeon General, during opening remarks. “So no more doubts in doing and acting, especially in the joint operations between the two countries, both in peacekeeping operations and HADR.”
Since Indonesia is located right in the Ring of Fire – a horseshoe-shaped seismically active belt of earthquake epicenters, volcanoes, and tectonic plate boundaries – the subject matter experts from Indonesia were able to share their experiences in managing and responding to the “laboratory of disasters”.
United States and TNI subject matter experts discussed topics such as: the role the military plays in HADR, how to optimize prehospital care to improve survivability, and how best to conduct safe patient movement over water, land and air.
“After four days of exchange, we have identified three challenges on developing a joint [standard operating procedure] for joint [casualty evacuation] patient movement,” said U.S. Air Force Dr. (Lt. Col.) William Chu, PACAF surgeon general and international health specialist. “One, funding. Two, communication and three, collaboration.
“While most of us in here cannot influence funding, we can –through these exchanges – improve our communication by developing common languages and protocols, and enhance collaboration through developing interoperability between our teams,” continued Chu. “Therefore, it’s not a matter of if, but when we will be working together again in the future – whether responding to HADR or supporting contingency operations – and when we do, with improved communication and interoperability, we can effectively save more lives in a safer and expeditious manner.”