Bundeswehr Special Fund

One hospital within 240 minutes: Air-portable surgical hospital handed over to the military

One hospital within 240 minutes: Air-portable surgical hospital handed over to the military

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In February, the Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBwBundesamt für Ausrüstung, Informationstechnik und Nutzung der Bundeswehr) commissioned eight "light" air-portable surgical hospitals using the Bundeswehr Special Fund. Now the first system, complete with medical equipment, was fielded in Leer in Lower Saxony - much earlier than planned.

rge green tents are set up in a hall.

One advantage for the rapid setup: The air-portable surgical hospital consists of several tents

Bundeswehr/Tobias Palkoska
There are stretchers, medical equipment and instruments inside a large tent.

Looking inside the air-portable surgical hospital: The intensive care unit and the emergency room are equipped with all important instruments and equipment

Bundeswehr/Tobias Palkoska

On a 25 x 25 meter surface, the Rapid Medical Response Forces will, in future, be able to provide emergency care for patients in the new "light" air-portable surgical hospital, which includes an intensive care unit and an emergency room similar to an operating theatre. "Light" means that this system is a version with a reduced functional scope and a smaller amount of material as compared to a conventional air-portable surgical hospital. The light version, for instance, does not have a steriliser and only one emergency room instead of two.

These mobile, tent-based medical facilities also enable damage control surgery (DCS) in accordance with German standards during military operations. The system consists of a total of nine tents and can be taken by helicopter or transport aircraft to a theatre of operations where it is operational at record speed: After two hours at the latest, the first patients can be admitted. It takes two to four hours before the first surgery can take place.

Optimum medical care in the field

For me, the Medical Service Rapid Reaction Regiment stands for the capability of the Bundeswehr Medical Service to deploy modern medicine, specialised personnel and special capabilities to an entire brigade area at very short notice. With today's handover, we're taking an essential step toward ensuring high-quality and up-to-date medical care for wounded comrades,

the Deputy Surgeon General of the Bundeswehr, Major General Dr. Norbert Weller, underlined.

Three men are standing outside a tent. A man is receiving a large key from another man.

The key is handed over symbolically to the military by the procurement office project team

Bundeswehr/Tobias Palkoska

The new light air-portable surgical hospitals will replenish the systems in use since 2003. The result: Improved treatment options for troops during operations. At the handover of the first system, the responsible project manager from the procurement office said:

We are happy and proud that we have been able to deliver the first of eight systems of this cost-intensive, parliament-approved project to the military before the end of 2023. Especially in the current global political situation, it is important that the troops quickly receive the materiel they need for missions and operations.”

The second light air-portable surgical hospital is expected to be delivered to the Medical Service as early as next month, with another six systems to follow by the end of 2024. In addition, the procurement of eight additional systems is already planned to take place before the end of 2025.

by Sarah Stein