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Search and rescue exercise "SAREX 22-17" conducted

Friday, 26.05.2017.
Search and rescue exercise "SAREX 22-17" conducted

Search and rescue exercise "SAREX 22-17" conducted


One of the most complex search and rescue exercises in civil aviation "SAREX 22- 17 " was conducted on Wednesday, May 24 by the Rescue Coordination Centre (RCC) of the Civil Aviation Directorate, Helicopter Unit of the Ministry of Interior, Military Medical Academy, SMATSA and Operations Centre of Serbian Air Force and Air Defence (SAF&AD).

“This full scale ICAO Level III  "SAREX 22-17" formal exercise was organized according to the annual exercises plan by the Department for Search and Rescue and carried out in order to evaluate the function of the RCC participants engaged in search and rescue of aircraft and persons in civil aviation. These comprise the Ministry of Interior helicopter unit, Military Medical Academy (MMA) operational team, SAF&AD Operational Centre using the MMA helipad, and alerting service by SMATSA”, said Nikola Šarančić, head of Rescue Coordination Centre of the Directorate.

An important segment is the commencement and coordination with ITMCC Center, COSPAS-SARSAT satellite team for the detection of activated radio - transmitter in emergency situation (ELT). For the purpose of this exercise, ELT was activated in motion simulating a situation in which the pilot activated the emergency alert system, in case of loss of radio contact before landing.

As expected, ELT activation was detected by COSPAS-SARSAT via Mission Control Centre ITCC in Bari and the information forwarded to RCC. What was tested next were preparedness and method of alerting, action of the involved participants during conduct of search and rescue operations.

The aim of the exercise was to check common procedures, follow-up measures and procedures involving parties to agreements, alarming RCC and on duty units, engagement of participants in search and rescue operations, providing first aid to the injured, and their transportation to adequate medical facilities and medical care.

In addition to the objectives set, the first part of the exercise was for the purpose of testing the new international MEOSAR COSPAS-SARSAT satellite system, through moving ELT detection. Helicopter Unit of the Ministry of Interior used during exercise its two helicopters Bell 212 Jet Ranger and Bell 206. Team search in the Jet Ranger obtained the initial geographic coordinates (which were frequently updated in real time) through the plan of search from SCA and through the satellite centre in Bari. The coordinates were converted by the Jet Ranger crew into a provisional search and rescue region to which it flew with more precision using its Radio Direction Finder. Behind the aircraft Bell 212 flew with the crew of rescuers. Having arrived at the crash site they provided first aid to the injured person, transportation to the helipad at MMA, and finally the injured person was taken by the MMA on duty team, thus successfully completing the exercise.

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