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NEWS | March 29, 2024

Medical Support Unit - Europe adds strength to Allied Spirit

By Spc. Kirsti Anne Beckett 221st Public Affairs Detachment

U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers with the Medical Support Unit - Europe, 7th Mission Support Command, integrate with the 30th Medical Brigade and the German Forces Joint Medical Service to conduct medical training and strengthen interoperability during Exercise Allied Spirit in Hohenfels, Germany, March 14, 2024.

This multinational training exercise gathered medical units from the U.S. Army Reserve, the 30th Medical Brigade and German partners to provide NATO Role 2B field operational capabilities on simulated patients, including evacuation, triage and resuscitation, treatment and holding of patients, emergency dental treatment, emergency surgery and essential post-operative management.

“Our role as a Reserve unit is to provide expanded effort and truly understand what it means to be multinational,” said U.S. Army Reserve Col. Faith Junghahn, Commander of the MSU-E. “We augment both the active-duty element of the mission (the 30th Medical Brigade,) and the German Reserve forces, who also augment their own active-duty forces.”

Allied Spirit provided conditions for both reserve and active-duty units to combine staff and resources in an effort to multiply capabilities and provide quick and cost-effective, advanced care close to the battlefront.

“There are gaps in staffing in the active-duty component,” Junghahn said. “So, we have the ability to bring multiple skill sets to one mission and then further develop the mission as a cohesive element with a national partner.”

Junghahn said from a Reserve standpoint, the MSU-E gets hands-on experience working in a deployed environment, as well as understanding what another nation of NATO provides medically regarding both skill sets and assets. To integrate effectively, all elements need to know how they are going to support the mission.

“The level of education and special capabilities that each element brings to the exercise are unmatched,” said Col. Marcus Nolte, Commander of German Forces Joint Medical Service. “We are a multinational unit with a surgical-support specialty, and we have highly integrated subsections of German and American forces in this installation."

Allied Spirit focused on communication at all levels, particularly when bringing simulated casualties through the Medical Roles of Care in a mobile setting. Throughout the exercise, surgical teams were taken out by vehicle to the simulated injured patients to stabilize them in the field prior to evacuating them.

“Multinational work continues to be an experiment,” Nolte said. “Yet the speed at which our forces integrated and then executed a mass exercise was nothing less than ideal.”