Medical Team deploys to Iraq
(MPEG video 1.85 MB)
Geoff Shepherd chats to FLTLT Lynette Howell before her
by AB Brenton Freind
FORCE medical personnel will help save lives and care for the
critically ill at a US military hospital near Baghdad.
They are part of the fi rst Australian medical team to go to Iraq.
The contingent is made up of nine members of Air Force, seven
from Army and four from Navy.
It includes a surgeon, an emergency physician, intensive care
specialists, nurses and medics. Eleven of the 20 were formally
farewelled at Randwick Barracks in Sydney on September 9. An advance
party of the other nine personnel left the week before.
Many of the medical team are Reservists, such as Flight Lieutenant
Lynette Howell who just four days before the farewell was caring
for critically ill people at the Ashford Private Hospital at Keswick,
FLTLT Howell, who has been a Reservist for fi ve years, is a highly
skilled nurse serving in intensive care, coronary care and emergency
The Baghdad deployment will not be her fi rst as she had also
served in East Timor. Another team member who saw service in East
Timor is Warrant Of- fi cer Ian Swney, a senior medic at RAAF
Like his colleagues, he looked forward to the opportunity to help
those in need of medical treatment at the military hospital.
Colonel Jeffrey Rosenfeld, a Reservist and a neurosurgeon at Alfred
Hospital in Melbourne, said the medical personnel were likely
to encounter major trauma injuries ranging from the effects of
blasts to wounds from bullets or shrapnel.
He said the knowledge the team received could be imparted later
to younger members of ADF health.
Among those to attend the farewell were Air Commander Australia
Air Vice-Marshal Geoffrey Shepherd, Land Command Chief of Staff
Brigadier Brian Dawson, Defence Minister Robert Hill and Labor
MP Roger Price.
AVM Shepherd commended the team for their service and praised
the fl exibility of the ADF. Senator Hill said the task in Iraq
“continues to be a complicated one ... but there are many positives”.
aid goes to Iraq
Gary Steer and WOFF Ian Swney, who are members of the ADF
medical team deploying to Iraq, talk to Defence Minister
Robert Hill and Roger Price.
by AB Brenton Freind
services are substantially improved from what they were before
the war,” Senator Hill said.
“Iraqi National Airline is now fl ying. It has one 737 and four
767s are coming. Baghdad International Airport is now a civilian
He said an independent electoral commission had been trained and
that national elections would be held in January.
Mr Price, deputising for Labor Defence Shadow Minister Kim Beazley,
told the medical team they went “with the appreciation of the
Parliament and the people”. “Your role in not in question. It
is above politics,” Mr Price said.
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