Medical Support to EU Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) Operations has been identified as a priority in the 2018 EU Capability Development Plan. This priority has been reinforced by the COVID-19 pandemic, which not only demonstrated the important role of the Armed Forces as first responders but also evidenced their role in preserving the life and health of military and civilian personnel. Given this context, the European Defence Agency is working on achieving greater interoperability of equipment, expertise, and training. Moreover, EDA is promoting a common understanding amongst all components – Operational, Technical, and Industrial – involved in the field of EU Defence Medical Services.
- Fostering interoperability of equipment, expertise, and training in Medical Support to CSDP operations
- Analysing new areas for medical capability development
- Promoting cooperation amongst all actors involved
- Enhancing 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 & Sharing activities. Project Team (PT) Medical stands as the main working body within EDA bringing 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 facilitates a coordinated and overarching approach to all on-going and future activities in the field of medical support with the aim of:
- Increasing the exchange of information between participants on developments in the area of medical support;
- Providing a structured approach for further work;
- Identifying potential new issues and projects to be addressed by members;
- Overseeing and shaping the work of the related Ad Hoc Working Groups;
- Ensuring 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.
MULTINATIONAL MODULAR MEDICAL UNIT (M3U)
Despite national capabilities, deployable field hospitals have been recognised as shortfalls for an extended period of time. The existence of national differences, including varying medical procedures, medical equipment and material or legal restrictions, renders cooperation highly complex. Given these complexities, the Multinational Modular Medical Unit (M3U) Programme aims at facilitating standardization and interoperability in multinational medical cooperation.
The M3U Project Arrangement, signed by 15 contributing Member States (AT, BE, BG, CY, CZ, DE, EL, ES, FI, HU, IT (Lead Nation), NL, RO, SE and SI) as a Cat B project, provides the basis for fully deployable and sustainable multinational Medical Treatment Facilities (MTF) available for the full spectrum of CSDP missions and multinational engagements.
The M3U Programme complements bilateral and multilateral initiatives, avoiding unnecessary duplication and seeking for possible synergies in the same capability domain, respecting the autonomy of the EU.
Under the M3U Programme and its Management Committee, there is currently one work strand:
1. Project Management Group - Medical Treatment Facility (PMG-MTF)
As a result of EU participating Member States lack of specific medical assets, the M3U PMG – MTF has been established to deliver, by collaborative development, a Technical Specification (TS) for multinational deployable capability. In particular, this TS is aimed for a Role 2 Medical MTF – Initial Surgery Response Capability / Highly Mobile. Based on common TS, the developed assets will be provided for the 7 core modules – emergency room, surgery and surgery auxiliary, specified diagnostic, patient holding, post-operative, C4I, and medical supply – for CSDP Operations and Missions or any other multinational engagement allowing their rapid and flexible integration followed by national or multinational procurement.
MULTINATIONAL MEDICAL EVACUATION TRAINING (MN MEDEVAC TRG)
The Cat B Project Multinational Medical Evacuation Training (MN MEDEVAC TRG) aims at providing a framework for the establishment of training activities and courses to facilitate standardization and interoperability. The objective is to improve readiness and ensure better conformity with the general principles of medical support within a changing multinational operational environment.
The project, which consists of 5 contributing Member States (CY, CZ, DE (Lead Nation), IT and NL), aims at having highly educated and trained medical personnel, to meet Member States’ training demands and objectives. Under the umbrella of the MN MEDEVAC TRG Management Committee, a training course is being envisaged with a Train to Trainer (TTT) format for paramedic personnel. The objective is to achieve harmonisation which combines interoperability of professional content as well as language aspects. This will allow contributing Member States to reduce all possible boundaries and errors in CSDP operations and missions.
OBJECT-ORIENTED SOFTWARE TO PROJECT MEDICAL MODULAR CAPABILITES (MedMCSW)
This EDA OB Study aims at providing Member States and other stakeholders a Software (SW) tool, which allows flexible and versatile decision-making processes by the rapid integration of national assets based on Member States’ capabilities and capacities. The SW tool will enable to collect, process and afterwards analyse data from Member States and other information sources in relation to MTF medical modules. The SW outcome will be the provision of a comprehensive situational picture of military medical capabilities and capacity in order to support planning, decision-making, and coordination at EU and national level.
Complementary to the Member States' capability catalogue, the MedMCSW will perform a specific function on ‘coordination’ (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).