Porirua Medic In Australia’s Largest Warfighting Exercise
Navy health planner Lieutenant Kasey Vissers with US Army Captain Maurice Galloway (left) and US Navy Lieutenant Matthew Weinheimer at the War Memorial in Canberra. All three work in the ‘Casualty Regulation Cell’ which tracks real-world and in-scenario casualties during Exercise Talisman Sabre 2015.
22 July 2015
As former ship’s medic, Navy Lieutenant Kasey Vissers has provided health care for hundreds of people for weeks at a time.
Deployed as a health planner for Exercise Talisman Sabre 2015, Australia’s largest warfighting exercise, the former Mana College student now has to grapple with a health challenge that is 120 times bigger.
“In the past three weeks, I’ve been working in what is called the ‘Casualty Regulation Cell’ which is comprised of eight people. Our job is to monitor and track real-world and in-scenario casualties in Talisman Sabre,” Lieutenant Vissers said.
It is a challenging job. Almost 30,000 military personnel from Australia, the US, New Zealand and Japan are taking part across different time zones since the exercise is held in multiple locations in Australia and the United States.
A registered nurse, LT Vissers is working out of Headquarters Joint Operations Command in Canberra throughout the exercise.
“Expert and efficient medical care saves lives on the battlefield and is one of the most important support functions during combat operations,” said Lieutenant Vissers.
“It’s been great to learn how other nations complete tasks and to see if it is something we could incorporate into our practice, What I have learnt here will be useful for working with the Australians and the Americans in the future.”
When she is not deployed, LT Vissers is the Fleet Health Officer at Devonport Naval Base. In that role, she conducts health planning and supervises all deployable maritime health support and the Navy medics.
She joined the Navy straight from high school, while two friends enlisted in the Army and the Air Force.
“I love the Navy environment and the communal living,” said LT Vissers, whose grandfather was an ammunitions clerk for the Royal New Zealand Air Force during World War II.
“It’s great that we are encouraged to do sports because I love soccer and cricket. There are also opportunities for you to do your core job in a different environment. For Medical Services Officers like me, we are not stuck in a ward or sickbay,” she added.
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