MINURCAT Conducts Live MEDEVAC/CASEVAC Exercises in Eastern Chad
The United Nations Mission in Chad and Central African Republic (MINURCAT) successfully conducted a live Medical and Casualty Evacuation (MEDEVAC/CASEVAC) exercise in eastern Chad on 26 and 27 May 2009.
The exercise was a simulation of a nighttime medical evacuation carried out in five towns located in eastern Chad, including Koukou Angarana, Goz Beida, Abeche, Guereda, and Iriba. The exercise was meant to test medical response and night flight capabilities in remote areas using specialized lighting equipment. The assessment also involved the adequacy of existing air strips for such operations.
The exercise involved the evacuation of an injured passenger by helicopter from Koukou Angarana, a village some 245 km south of Abeche. The aircraft then flew for 20 minutes to Goz Beida, where a pre-positioned ambulance rushed the patient to a medical facility at a nearby MINURCAT camp.
The next day, a helicopter left MINURCAT regional Headquarters in Abeche for a trial run of MINURCAT bases in Guereda and Iriba in northeastern Chad. The aircraft and crew were limited to five minutes on the ground before returning to Abeche, where potential injuries can be treated at a Level II hospital staffed by Norwegians. The exercise clearly demonstrated the Mission's readiness in case of a medical evacuation emergency.
At each stage of the journey, landing strips could be spotted miles away from the air thanks to specialized lighting equipment. Air and ground crews participating in this endeavor managed the limited ground time with precision and efficiency. As a result of their professionalism and performance, night flight operations are now certified.