Building a warfighting medical capability

Armed Forces of the Philippines medical team members have been awarded certificates for completing the bespoke Maritime Resuscitation Casualty Care Training, held in HMAS Canberra during Exercise Alon.

CAPTIONThe HMAS Canberra medical team and Philippine Navy participants of the Maritime Resuscitation Casualty Care Training on board HMAS Canberra during Exercise Alon 2023. Photo by Lieutenant Carolyn Martin. Photo by Corporal Robert Whitmore.

Seven hospital-based health personnel integrated with the training, completing the same theoretical and practical activities as ADF members, and delivering lessons in health care in the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Additionally, eight medics took part in the training conducted by embarked forces Australian Army medics and combat first aiders, which covered first aid and tactical combat casualty care content.

The knowledge exchange between the two nations’ health personnel meant everyone involved had a rich, deep and enjoyable training experience.

In awarding the certificates, Commander of the Amphibious Task Force (RAN) Captain Phillipa Hay thanked the medical staff for bringing their expertise aboard.

“This is the future of small to medium-sized nations working together,” Captain Hay said.

“Whilst you haven’t had to deal with any major casualties, thank goodness, what I hope this does is build confidence. Confidence that when we do come together we can quickly integrate and reach out to one another and not have to pause and question and be worried about standard operating procedures, about standards of clinical care, and the expectations of clinical care.

“Through working and integrating together, you’ve already built that confidence that if a Filipino comes into the ship we will look after your soldier, sailor or aviator. And we have confidence that you will also look after one of our own.”

Captain Hay said integration activities such as this training would continue, and not just through Exercise Alon, but through other multinational activities that the Philippines are involved in.

“The opportunity to have all the medical staff aboard ensures we can build a warfighting medical capability at sea, and embedding with another nation gives us capacity,” Captain Hay said.

Armed Forces of the Philippines radiologist Lieutenant Colonel Aristoteles Ilarde, of the Medical Corps, said he learnt a lot about the advanced medical procedures being used in HMAS Canberra.

And while he had a few patients to treat while aboard, he enjoyed engaging in the valuable information exchange and assisting with the ultrasounds.


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