From packing parachutes to modern M*A*S*H

3 April 2024

For as long as he can remember, Lieutenant Alex Beaumont had what he described as an intrinsic feeling to join the Army.

Growing up in the small country town of Narrandera, NSW, he dabbled in different jobs after high school, but was determined to experience something bigger and better.

Since joining the Army in 2013, his career has followed several pathways, including as an air dispatcher in the Royal Australian Transport Corps and working in Defence Force Recruiting, before commissioning as a general service officer.

“I’ve travelled overseas on operations and to the top of Australia in the Torres Strait Islands for recruiting, but now, I’m in a completely different world working in the health space in the deployable Role 2 hospital,” Lieutenant Beaumont said.

When trying to explain to his grandmother what he does for a living, Lieutenant Beaumont draws comparisons from the war comedy series M*A*S*H.

“I used to sit with my Pop and watch the show as a kid, so I was able to explain to Grandma quite easily what I do – ‘think of M*A*S*H, just modern’,” he said.

Since commissioning from Royal Military College – Duntroon in the Royal Australian Army Medical Corps, Lieutenant Beaumont has worked at the 2nd Health Battalion within Gallipoli Barracks, Queensland.

Lieutenant Beaumont’s operational experience includes deploying on Operation Okra in the Middle East, providing humanitarian assistance to the Yazidi people by delivering aid airdrops to Mount Sinjar in northern Iraq.

“It was a snap deployment – I received a call on Saturday night and left on Sunday. It was very exciting, and those two months were really fulfilling, where I got to do my job and helped those in need,” he said.

Lieutenant Beaumont also deployed on Operation Accordion as the terminal operations non-commissioned officer, responsible for coordinating and assisting with the delivery of resources between Australia and the Middle East.

More recently, he participated in Exercise Viper Walk 2024, a first-of-its-kind combat health unit-level exercise with joint and international participation from the Australian Army, the Royal Australian Air Force, New Zealand Defence Force and the United States military.

Lieutenant Beaumont deployed as a watch-keeper for the exercise, providing oversight of information coming in and out of the Role 2 Enhanced (2E) deployable hospital.

“I receive reports about casualties out in the field who are being transported to the hospital for treatment,” he said.

"I then relay that information to the appropriate clinicians so patients can get the care that they need."

Additionally, he could facilitate casualty evacuation onto further care.

Lieutenant Beaumont said this year’s exercise was the first time he had witnessed the whole land-based trauma system from point-of-injury through to Role 2E, including aeromedical evacuation capability delivered by the Royal Australian Air Force.

“I’ve taken a lot out of this year’s exercise, including making certain our processes for interoperability are in order to get patients efficiently evacuated out of our facility and onwards, as well as refining our internal processes of patient tracking and care,” he said.



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