CAMO 23 – Multidimensional Patient Flow Management exercise contributes to the Alliance’s defence

The exercise Casualty Move 2023 (CAMO 23) is the third iteration of the CAMO series and is designed, planned and conducted by the Multinational Medical Coordination Centre/European Medical Command (MMCC/EMC). It is hosted by the Estonian Military Academy (EMA) in Tartu, Estonia.

“This exercise provides NATO with essential knowledge on how to implement the concept that has been developed. It has been designed to reflect on the real world scenarios to meet the overall train-as-you-fight principle”, explained Brigadier General Dr Almut Nolte, SHAPE Medical Advisor, on the importance of this medical wargame, held on the eastern flank of the Alliance.

As a multinational Map Exercise/Tabletop Exercise (MAPEX/TTX), CAMO 23 provides a training opportunity, for participants to test how to conduct and sustain a multinational medical support system in Major Joint Operation (MJO+) or Article 5 settings. The exercise primarily focused on NATO’s Patient Flow Management, while also exercising the Medical Chain of Command (MCC), Medical Operations (MO), the Patient Evacuation Coordination Centre (PECC), Medical Planning, Medical Logistics, Military Treatment Facilities (MTFs) and Medical Evacuation (MEDEVAC).

“The Multinational Medical Coordination Centre aims to accomplish two different objectives: to train our medical personnel and to prepare for the defence of our Alliance. Our soldiers within the medical services of NATO and the EU have to be able to care for and coordinate a high influx of patients, or casualties, in case the Alliance needs to be defended. Considering the large distances across the Alliance’s territory, this is a coordinative task not to be underestimated, which necessitates close civil-military cooperation,” stated Brigadier General Dr Stefan Kowitz, Director of the MMCC/EMC, in his remarks.

More than 220 participants from 18 nations and organisations within NATO are participating. CAMO 23’ structure is designed in cooperation with the participating nations and organisations to fit their individual needs. The exercise setting provides the opportunity for participants to conduct and sustain a multinational medical support system on Operational/Joint Command level conducted in northeastern Europe. The exercise started at Division level (Brigade level will be simulated) through Corps, Component Commands, Joint Logistic Support Group, Joint Force Commander up to Nations with the involvement of civilian elements.

The Multinational Medical Coordination Centre/European Medical Command (MMCC/EMC) provides coordinating support to the medical services of NATO and EU. The centre covers a wide range of medical disciplines, from cross-border crisis management to collective and national defence, with a particular focus is on chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear (CBRN) medical defence and on the coordination of strategic, supra-national medical evacuation. It is directly subordinated to the German Armed Forces Joint Medical Service Command and the German Surgeon General.

The previous exercise, which was launched upon request from the Centre of Excellence for Military Medicine (MILMED COE), was combined with the exercise Vigorous Warrior (VW) as COVID prevented its usual iteration. The exercise CAMO22-VW22 was held in April 2022 in Hungary in the TTX format and gave an excellent chance to train interoperability. The exercise was initiated on Brigade level through Division and Land Component Command up to Joint Operations Area Rear and Nations.