Delivering high-end healthcare through cooperation

Published on LEUT Ben Robson (author), ABIS Ryan McKenzie (photographer)

Topic(s): HMAS Adelaide (L01), Exercise TALISMAN SABRE

International observers from the United States Navy and the Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force conduct a tour of HMAS Adelaide's medical centre during Exercise TALISMAN SABRE 2019.  (photo: ABIS Ryan McKenzie)
International observers from the United States Navy and the Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force conduct a tour of HMAS Adelaide's medical centre during Exercise TALISMAN SABRE 2019.

Seven international medical observers onboard HMAS Adelaide have shared skills and ideas during Exercise TALISMAN SABRE 2019 to deliver high-end healthcare capability.

Five specialists from the US and two from Japan have visited the Landing Helicopter Dock’s facilities to be put through their paces during mock casualty treatments.

Training officer in Adelaide’s medical centre, Lieutenant Commander Steven Grosser, said it was essential for enhancing Navy’s health capability to work with our regional and global partners.

“Having that fresh set of eyes and seeing a different way of doing things can only allow us to increase our capability,” Lieutenant Commander Grosser said.

“We might not necessarily work with the same people who are observing, but if you work again with Japanese you will already have developed that relationship and understanding.

“Without that cultural understanding and sensitivity you can’t get any further beyond that surface level.”

A registered nurse with nearly 12 years of Service, Lieutenant Commander Grosser spent three and a half years in the Australian Army before jumping ship, as he puts it.

“The main reason is we get a significant amount of clinical time in Navy,” he said.

“Back in Sydney we will work three or four days a week in a civilian hospital so we know hand on heart we can do our job.”

Among the specialists observing was Lieutenant Junior Grade Hideaki Miyoshi, a urologist from the Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force.

“We are studying and understanding the way Australians do things, and bettering our relationships,” he said.

“How you do things is really fascinating for us.”

With surgeons, an anaesthetist, an intensive care nurse, an orthopaedic surgeon and a urologist among the ship’s guests, a wealth of knowledge and experience could be shared.

Another surgeon, Lieutenant Commander Kevin Smith from the US First Medical Battalion, said TALISMAN SABRE was the largest exercise he had participated in.

“Should a situation arise where we need to have involvement in conflict we will be versed in how to execute the mission at hand,” he said.

“It feels like an achievement at the end of the day knowing we’re getting stronger, getting better and building our camaraderie and working together as a team.”

TALISMAN SABRE 2019 imagery is available on the Defence Image Gallery:
https://images.defence.gov.au