Highest appraisals for the ‘Save path 08’ exercise

21. 11. 2008

 Bujanovac, November 18 - Multinational exercise ‘Save path 08’ held on November 16-20, 2008 in the Bujanovac spa region and directed by Major General Prof. Miodrag Jevtić, MD, PhD, the MMA Head was successfully completed. It got the highest appraisals for the Light Field Hospital deployment readiness, well trained medical personnel and was awarded as well a certificate for deployment of Serbian medical personnel to eventual international peacekeeping missions.

The participants in the exercise were the members of the Armed Forces and Medical Services of the Republic of Serbia, the Kingdom of Norway and the Republic of Macedonia. Active involvement of the Serbian Red Cross members and a significantly high percentage of respective local structures of the Pčinj District was also recorded what demonstrated a successful civil-military cooperation.
More than 50 observers of seven countries from three continents – People’s Republic of China, Germany, Egypt, Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Croatia attended the exercise.

During its deployment, the MMA Light Field Hospital operating under real conditions was rendering specialist, surgical and dental services to the local population. During that time, the hospital medical personnel composed of the MMA and Niš Military Hospital staff members performed more than 800 examinations and interventions.

However, the Light Field Hospital is a donation of the Armed Forces of the Kingdom of Norway and is primarily intended for deployment to peacekeeping missions, but it can also be used in situations requiring medical support to the population in mass catastrophe struck areas or in those exposed to terrorist activities.

The final phase of the exercise – demonstration of the Light Field Hospital deployment readiness (Distinguished Visitor Day) was attended by the Minister of Defence of the Republic of Serbia Mr. Dragan Šutanovac with his associates, representatives of the Armed Forces General Staff, Gendarmerie Headquarters and Coordination Body, then by local officials from Vranje and Pčinj District as well as foreign military representatives accredited to our country.

The final phase of the exercise demonstrated the operation of military medical teams in political crisis and terrorist situations. The Minister of Defence Mr. Dragan Šutanovac highly appraised all the demonstrated activities and, addressing the present attendants, said that the Armed Forces of Serbia was for the first time awarded the certificate to take part in international peacekeeping missions.’’ Our intention is to be a part of international peacekeeping efforts by providing medical support since we have a lot to offer. However, that quality meeting the highest international standards has been proved today’ said the Minister. ‘’The fact that this exercise is the only reason the representatives of seven countries from three continents have come to Serbia and the presence of all the foreign military attaches accredited to our country reflect the extent of interest into the way the Military Medical Academy and Serbian Military Medical Services operate’’ pointed out the Minister Šutanovac.

‘’The main concept of the exercise has been training of military medical personnel for efficient treatment of casualties in mass disaster situations‘’ said the director of the ‘’Save path 08’’exercise General Jevtić. ‘’ We have demonstrated extremely high level of professional readiness; we have shown that we keep pace with the world and requirements of modern medicine meeting thus all the professional standards. We have also shown that everyone needing our medical support within the framework of peacekeeping missions can rely on us. Secondly, our intention has been to demonstrate in the field the provision of MMA medical support to the South Serbian population. We have thus proved that MMA is present on every part of our territory and that it has always been with its people’’ said General Jevtić.

General L.S. Rosen, Surgeon General of the Joint Medical Services of the Norwegian Armed Forces and co-director of the exercise expressed his satisfaction with the level of the Armed Forces readiness to operate in emergency situations. ‘’ I have noticed how good work of doctors and medical personnel as well as the quality of medical services rendered to the patients were’’ said general Rosen in the end.

Upon completion of the exercise, the director of the exercise General Jeftić awarded the participants and attendants of the exercise special plaques.

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