Spanish Navy frigate ‘Álvaro de Bazán’, deployed in operation ‘Ocean Shield’ fighting piracy in the Indian Ocean, was requested by the Operation’s Command (CTF-508) to carry out a MEDEVAC from a Ukrainian ship.
The ‘Hetman Sagadaichnyi’ informed that one of her sailors could be suffering of peritonitis(an inflammation of the peritoneum, the thin tissue that lines the inner wall of the abdomen and covers most of the abdominal organs). Even though the ship was sailing close to the eastern part of the Gulf of Aden, the range of her helicopter precluded the evacuation in a reasonable time.
The CTF-508 decided to evacuate the sailor using the Spanish SH-60B for the scheduled 7-hour flight, as the sick sailor was 150 miles away from the frigate.
In order to successfully carry out the MEDEVAC the German Navy ship ‘Hessen’ was requested to operate as refueling station for the helicopter between the ‘Álvaro de Bazán’ and Djibouti to and from the hospital.
The Spanish Air Force detachment in Djibouti was also contacted to coordinate the transfer of the sailor to the French hospital.
Within the scheduled time, the SH-60B from the 10th Spanish Navy Aircraft Squadron brought the sailor ashore.
Press Release, December 19, 2013; Image: Spanish Navy