Today, Sunday, a delegation of soldiers and officers from the IDF Medical Corps landed in Romania to participate in an international exercise which is held in cooperation with the European Union.

The delegation is comprised of 160 active duty and reserve medical and logistics personnel, who will simulate establishing a field hospital in an earthquake scenario as well as other on ground and airborne scenarios.

This is the most distant and largest exercise the IDF Medical Corps has conducted. The purpose of the exercise is to preserve the readiness and qualifications of the corps and in particular, the General Staff Surgical - Hospitalization Unit.

This unit, which has already been deployed as part of IDF aid delegations to countries such as Nepal and Haiti, has been recognized by the World Health Organization as the first Level 3 Field Hospital in the world – this is the highest existing level, which enables the performance of surgical procedures in the hospital. During the exercise, the unit will be deployed in its fullest extent and will include an emergency room, an intensive care unit, a hospitalization department, an imaging institute and a laboratory, which will all be synchronized by a 24/7 operations room.

The delegation departed from the Ben Gurion International Airport on Saturday night and landed in Bucharest early this morning. The head of the delegation is the Deputy Chief Medical Officer and Head of the Operational Medical Department, Col. Dr. Hagay Frenkel. The Commanding Officer of the General Staff Surgical - Hospitalization Unit is Col. (res) Dr. Ofer Merin.

The delegation includes -36 doctors, 21 nurses, 2 pharmacists, 7 military paramedics, a mental health professional, a veterinarian, a physiotherapist, 5 X-ray technicians, 4 laboratory personnel, 4 biologists, 13 medical assistants, a medical clown, a military rabbi and 7 kitchen staff members.

Within the delegation members there are 90 reservists, 3 IDF employed civilians and 3 academic soldiers. The remaining staff members of the delegation are mandatory and career service soldiers. During the Aerial Evacuation Exercise, an additional 10 doctors, 10 medical professionals, the Airborne Rescue and Evacuation Unit (Unit 669) and a flight team will take part.

The most advanced equipment was brought to the field hospital. The equipment includes 50 beds (hospitalization, emergency and operation beds), dozens of various medications, 200 test tubes, 8 respirators, an operation table, an anesthesia machine, 2 ultrasound machines, a vehicle carrying a water purifier and an oxygen producing device. All of the above will be spread out in 10 air conditioned tents.

The Israeli camp will be placed beside the camps of Romania, Britain, Germany, Sweden, Italy, Norway and the European Union representatives, and delegations will be housed in 120 tents. The electricity will be supplied by two large and advanced generators.

"This is the largest operational exercise of the Medical Corps yet," Dr. Frenkel said. "The exercise contributes to strengthen the cooperation between the IDF and the European Union. We are performing this exercise in order to improve the preparedness of the Medical Corps to save lives."