The UK & Italian SPAG participate in the UK SMASHEX 2009.

The UK SMASHEX was a Submarine Escape and Rescue exercise. The exercise on the 5th May 2009 allowed the UK submarine escape and rescue authorities, equipment and callout procedures to be tested in extreme and realistic conditions. The objectives for SPAG during the exercise included;

Conduct callout and transfer of SPAG and equipment from SETT to RAF Lyneham
Conduct callout of personnel and stores from 47 Air Dispatch RLC and 47 SF Squadron RAF
Undertake insertion of full SPAG, DISSUB, SMERAT and shore authorities.
Co-ordinate and conduct simulated escape from DISSUB.
Carry out triage and pre hospital treatment of escapees.
Co-ordinate and conduct medical evacuation to Rescue Gear Ship(RGS).

The UK & Italian SPAG embarked a Chinook Helicoptor from Fort Blockhouse and travelled to RAF Lyneham where they boarded a C130 RAF Hercules aircraft.

The UK & Italian SPAG insert at the datum point of the DISSUB.

Once in the water the SPAG team would rig the Medium Inflatable Boats(MIB) dropped by the C130, these would then be used to recover escapees from the water as they arrive on the surface from the DISSUB.

When the escapee has been recovered from the water they would be medically graded and then continually monitored, any escapees that may have suffered any form of decompression illness would be administered oxygen and provided with fluids by Diver Medical Technicians that form part of the SPAG team.

A Triage village is developed using 25 man liferafts and escapees would be placed in the allocated liferafts depending on the severity of their injuries.

The escapees would then be transferred to ships containing Recompression Chambers and furthur medical therapy.

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©2006 Ian Callow