US Army, July 16, 2015 - VILLAGGIO ITALIA, Kosovo Sgt. Erick Yates – A U.S. Army Reserve flight medic crew based at Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo, flew through mountainous territory on a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter to lead a course in medical evacuation operations for their multinational partners July 14 at Villaggio Italia.
Soldiers from F Company, 5th Battalion, 159th Aviation Regiment (MEDEVAC), out of Clearwater, Florida, conducted the training in northwest Kosovo for multinational troops assigned to Multinational Battle Group-West, an Italian-led organization that is part of NATO’s peace support mission known as Kosovo Force, or KFOR. The crew’s mission there was to provide aerial medical evacuation, or medevac, familiarization to Italian and Slovenian troops.
The Soldiers with the 5-159th Aviation Regiment support all medevac requirements for personnel assigned to KFOR, which is a multinational force led by Italian Army Maj. Gen. Francesco Paolo Figliuolo, based out of Kosovo’s capital city, Pristina. The medevac team is also available to provide medevac support to civilians in Kosovo under extreme circumstances, in coordination with Kosovo’s law enforcement agencies.
“Training with other multinational forces allows us to teach them in case there is a medevac request, and make sure they are provided the proper training to operate around a helicopter and to communicate with the crew safely,” said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Cole Gould, a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter pilot with the 5-159th Aviation Regiment.
“I thought the training was excellent,” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Robert Tyson, also a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter pilot with the 5-159th Aviation Regiment. By going to Villaggio Italia, he said, their aviation team helped the Italian and Slovenian troops learn about U.S. Army emergency evacuation procedures while also giving the U.S. Soldiers a multinational training experience.
The instruction focused on litter and hoist operations. As teams, the MNBG-W forces ran through several exercises designed to teach and rehearse the proper way to carry injured personnel on a liter, connect them to a hoist and properly lift them away from danger and into the hands of trained medics.
The goal is to come together and provide attention to the patient, said Sgt. Christine Vu, a flight medic with 5-159th Aviation Regiment, and one of the lead instructors for the training.
“It was important for the troops to train on the hoist today, so they can see how it is used and understand the safety involved,” Vu said. “I think the training went well.”