NATO allies train in chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear attacks

Medical experts from 13 countries recently gathered in the Czech Republic to train with NATO allies in preparation for a chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) attack, Newsweek reports.

For four days, participants treated simulated casualties and shared knowledge at a former chemical and biological test site at Tisá, near the German border, while British Navy personnel and Marines demonstrated the techniques of the UK.

According to Newsweek, the Commando Forward Surgical Group of the United Kingdom’s Commando Logistic Regiment led the joint casualty decontamination area, which would be responsible for decontaminating those exposed to a CBRN attack before moving them to the next level of medical care.

The unit deploys wherever Britain’s Royal Marines do and its responsibility is to treat casualties in the field, according to Newsweek.

“Scenarios like this are necessary to keep us grounded and ready to effectively treat and care for the real-time CBRN casualties that we can expect during operations,” medical assistant Jack Franklin told the outlet. “As the medical team in the casualty decontamination area is very small, everyone must be able to step back, reflect and assess the situation.”

Franklin added that the training “was crucial for the triage physician” who makes the decision about who receives treatment first based on established protocols.

“In real time, it will be very difficult work,” he said.

In the contamination zone, members of the UK’s Royal Marines Band Service are said to have worked in tandem with the surgical group, providing basic medical treatment and assessing patient injuries.

Newsweek reports that while the band members are known for their musical abilities, they are also fully trained military personnel and regularly provide medical support.

During exercises in the Czech Republic, doctors and music department staff assembled the casualty decontamination area in 12 minutes and 45 seconds – the fastest time in 10 years, according to Newsweek.

The live exercises followed the theoretical, practical and medical simulation segments of an essential alliance training program that keeps medical teams ready.

The actors who played the injured were made up with simulated injuries, also known as casting, to give a sense of realism to the training.

“From a Royal Marine perspective, it was a great insight into how the Royal Navy and the Royal Marines Band Service work together on an exercise like this and see the medical treatment itself,” Marine George Blake told Newsweek.

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