Preserving the life and health of military and civilian personnel has the highest priority and only a healthy Armed Force can deliver and sustain its function efficiently. The European Defence Agency is working on greater interoperability of equipment, expertise and training in Medical Support to EU Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) Operations. Moreover, EDA is promoting a common understanding amongst all components, Operational, Technical and Industrial, involved in the field of EU Defence Medical Services.
- Increase interoperability of equipment, expertise, and training in Medical Support to CSDP operations
- Analyse new areas for medical capability development and Pooling & Sharing opportunities
- Promote cooperation amongst all actors involved
- Enhance dual use capabilities for medical assets in disaster relief and other emergencies
PT MEDICAL – PROJECT TEAM MEDICAL
Medical Support to operations requires considerable resources and it is a recognized field for Multinational Pooling and Sharing activities. Project Team (PT) Medical as a main working body bring together experts from the participating Member States in a medical capability area in order to identify potential fields of cooperation, assess the feasibility of cooperative activities and harmonise military needs. PT Medical facilitate a coordinated and overarching approach to all on-going and future activities in the field of medical support with the aim:
- Increase the exchange of information between participants on developments in the area of medical support;
- Provide a structured approach for further work;
- Identify potential new issues and projects to be addressed by the members;
- Oversee and shape the work of the related Ad Hoc Working Groups;
- Ensure coherence between the different fields of activity.
PT Medical, based on the participating Member States’ guidance, provides flexible management and recommendation concerning urgent needs and future projects of pMS. Based on the recent/current COVID-19 situation and in order to comprehensively tackle the future crisis inflicted by highly contagious disease and infections within the EU, the collaborative projects with dedicated multinational medical capabilities will be evaluated by pMS. The appropriate multinational medical capabilities with adequate biosafety level (2 & 3 & 4) associated with a ready to use medical and non-medical stockpile with continuous inventory allowing its immediate deployment for CSDP operations and mission as well as for initial and rapid military support of civilian authorities whenever required in the event of an emergency in the EUthe EU, the collaborative projects with dedicated multinational medical capabilities will be evaluated by the participating Member States. The appropriate multinational medical capabilities with adequate biosafety level (2 & 3 & 4) associated with a ready to use medical and non-medical stockpile with continuous inventory allowing its immediate deployment for CSDP operations and mission as well as for initial and rapid military support of civilian authorities whenever required in the event of an emergency in the EU, is a crucial element to be considered.
M3U – MULTINATIONAL MODULAR MEDICAL UNIT
The Deployable field hospitals have been recognised as shortfalls for a long time. The existence of national differences, such as varying medical procedures, medical equipment and material or legal restrictions, renders cooperation very complex. The Multinational Modular Medical Unit (M3U) Programme aims at facilitating standardisation and interoperability in multinational medical cooperation.
The M3U Programme Arrangement signed by 15 contributing Member States (AT, BE, BG, CY, CZ, DE, EL, ES, FI, HU, IT (Lead), NL, RO, SE and SI) provides the basis for fully deployable and sustainable multinational Medical Treatment Facilities (MTF) available for the full spectrum of CSDP missions or other multinational engagements. All M3U Programme related activities are performed in accordance with approved M3U documentation (Declaration of Intent, Common Staff Target, and Common Staff Requirement).
The M3U Programme also complements bilateral and multilateral initiatives, avoiding unnecessary duplication and seeking for possible synergies in the same capability domain, respecting the autonomy of the EU.
There are currently two developing work strands under the M3U Programme:
1. Project Management Group – Medical Treatment Facility (PMG-MTF)
The EU participating Member States lack of specific medical assets to perform medical support during Crises Management Operations. The aim of M3U PMG-MTF is to deliver by collaborative development a Technical Specification (TS) for multinational deployable capability – Role 2 Medical Treatment Facility- Highly Mobile. Based on common TS, the developed assets could be provided as pre-identified medical modules for CSDP Operation and Mission or any other multinational engagements pending on the contributing Member States decision allowing their rapid and flexible integration following by national or multinational procurement.
2. Project Management Group – Force Integration and Training on-job (MTF-FI&T)
The main aim of this project is to develop a multidisciplinary training for medical teams and units focusing on Damage Control Resuscitation1 (DCR), Damage Control Surgery (DCS), in-hospital medical services2, and medical evacuation principles, in order to shorten the Full Operational Capability of the team/unit and mitigate any risks related to the complexity of the medical operational environment.
MN MEDEVAC TRG – MULTINATIONAL MEDICAL EVACUATION TRAINING
The Cat B Project Multinational Medical Evacuation Training (MN MEDEVAC TRG) aims at providing a framework for the establishment training activities and/or courses to facilitate standardisation and interoperability. The objective is to improve readiness and ensure better conformity with the general principles of medical support a changing multinational operational environment.
The Project involving 8 contributing Member States (BE, CY, CZ, DE (Lead), HU, IT, NL and SE), aims at having highly educated and trained medical personnel, to meet the Member States’ training demands and objectives through the pooling and sharing of training and courses opportunities, experience, and organisational costs. Additional objectives of the Project are:
- to enhance standardisation and all dimensions of interoperability;
- to improve the exchange of information on common tactics, techniques, and procedures, lessons learned and/or best practices.
The Project also involves the provision of an effective level of Medical Evacuation, which is a fundamental requirement for any military operation. Any collaborative activity will aim to avoid a duplication of effort and to reduce the individual burden of the contributing Member States. The closer integration of training activities among Member States will reduce the burden of medical capability provision, reduce unnecessary costs and avoid duplication or better utilize equipment and scarce medical personnel.
MedMCSW – OBJECT-ORIENTED SOFTWARE TO PROJECT MEDICAL MODULAR CAPABILITES
The objective of the Medical Modular Capabilities (MedMCSW) project is to support and provide the Member States and other stakeholders with an Object-oriented Software (SW) tool which enables flexibility and versatile decision-making processes by the rapid integration of national assets based on the Member States’ capabilities and capacity resource catalogue. The SW Tool will enable to collect, process and afterwards analyse data from the Member States and other information sources. The MedMCSW will be able to provide a comprehensive situational picture of Member States’ military medical capabilities and capacity in order to support planning, decision-making processes and coordination at EU level (e.g. PESCO projects, EUMS, EUBG) and national level. Complementary to the Member States' capability catalogue, the MedMCSW will perform a specific function on “coordination” and support (e.g. force generation, planning, management or basic medical logistics) in order to improve agility and reduce the footprint of medical support capabilities. It will help to identify and understand interoperability differences in order to improve management and simplify the multinational coordination of complex operational structures at the operational and tactical level, without compromising soldier health and treatment.
EDA is endorsing events focused on Medical Support in the EU and cooperation with EU industrial base. An open and transparent dialogue amongst MS and Medical Industry for Field Medicine is encouraged through a series of thematic workshops. Moreover, events like the workshop on 'Innovation for Field Medicine' Symposium “or 'Medical Treatment Facility (MTF) and Telemedicine' are contributing to future EDA projects development, foster a platform for multinational collaboration and establish a dialogue with industry. In addition, it is an open forum for national representatives and medical enterprises to share information on present and future capabilities for Medical Support to Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP).