EDA launches aeromedical evacuation service for civillians

The EDA has begun its first deployment of a new fixed-wing aeromedical evacuation service for civilians to support Belgian forces.

The civilian fixed-wing Aeromedical Evacuation (AIRMEDVAC) service has been sent to Niger to assist Belgian Forces working in the country. In 2019, EDA concluded several framework contracts with international aeromedical providers to cover fixed and rotary wing AIRMEDEVAC services in Africa and Europe.

The project’s objective was the provision of in-theatre AIRMEDEVAC services to evacuate patients from the point of injury to an initial Medical Treatment Facility (Forward AIRMEDEVAC normally conducted by rotary wing platforms) or fixed-wing transfer between in-theatre Medical Treatment Facilities (Tactical AIRMEDEVAC) to be used in frame of national and/or international defence and/or security operations. The project is designed around military technical requirements developed by EU Military Staff and Member States experts and endorsed by the EU Military Committee.

A spokesperson for Belgian Defence staff said: “This type of contractual vector offers ‘ready-to-use’ solutions allowing quick response to operational needs.”

“EDA is advantageously taking care of procurement process, contracting, invoicing, etc. whilst the customer still keeps the right to take part in the evaluation of tenders by each reopening of competition and also remains responsible for controlling the performance of the contract once signed. The process with EDA is highly professional and quick, offering time and budget savings.”

Aside from direct support to operations, the unit also supports fixed, rotary and unmanned training and exercise activities. Similarly, the Agency continues to support fixed-wing air transport operations under the banner of the European Air Transport Force (EATF) Programme, including capacity building activities for specific fleets (C-295, C-130) and initial training of Medium Altitude, Long Endurance (MALE) drone pilots and operators.

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