Overview: By Professor Martin Bricknell CB OStJ PhD DM, Editor-in-Chief, Military Medical Corps Worldwide ALMANAC


Exercise Vigorous Warrior 2024 has recently concluded in Hungary. The Exercise Vigorous Warrior (Ex VW) series of training exercises are the largest NATO military medical simulation exercises. They help to identify gaps, highlights challenges, and generates an evidence base to make NATO military medicine systems more robust, more efficient, and more effective in the implementation of best medical practices. These have been undertaken on a biannual basis since 2011, with the most recent iteration occurring in May 2024. Ex VW is co-ordinated by the NATO Centre of Excellence for Military Medicine (MilMedCoE) based in Hungary. Ex VW24 took place in Hungary and involved 1600 soldiers from 35 NATO members and Partner Nations.[1]

I attended Ex VW24 on behalf of military-medicine.com and as part of a research team from King’s College London. Our project looked at teamwork within field hospital resuscitation teams (RTs). Our study objectives were to evaluate frameworks for the assessment of teamworking skills by RTs, and to assess the value of direct observation of the performance of RTs with immediate reflective discussion to complement the MEDEVAL process. We observed the reception and resuscitation of simulated casualties in 8 different national Role 2 medical units who participated on Ex VW 24. This was a great opportunity to compare and contrast the processes and procedures in use in the Emergency Departments between these facilities to share knowledge and skills between these countries. We plan to analyse and publish our research in the near future.

Overall, we considered ExVW24 to have been an outstanding success for the MilMedCoE and the nations and medical personnel that participated. The scale and complexity of the exercise provided some insights into the real challenges NATO medical services might face in the event of a European War. All personnel who we met seems highly focussed and enthusiastic about their role on the exercise. This was a further step forward in the readiness and interoperability of NATO military medical services.


Image of a Role 2 field hospital resuscitation team in action

By Professor Martin Bricknell CB OStJ PhD DM, Editor-in-Chief, Military Medical Corps Worldwide ALMANAC

[1] Exercise Vigorous Warrior 2024, A multinational medical exercise, wraps up in Hungary. SHAPE. Belgium. 13 May 2024 Available at: https://shape.nato.int/news-archive/2024/exercise-vigorous-warrior-2024--a-multinational-medical-exercise--wraps-up-in-hungary#:~:text=May  accessed 24 May 2024.

Date: 06/17/2024