The Canadian team is all smiles at the finish line of the final physical challenge, securing first place in the AMSTTE competition; (left to right) Master Corporal Michael Monardo, Corporal Paul Charles, Corporal Phil Sisk, Sergeant Eric Alexander, and Corporal Charles-Olivier Long. (Photo by Master Corporal S.L. Monardo, Medical Technician, 2 Field Ambulance)
2 Field Ambulance’s team poses for a commemorative photo at the AMSTTE competition in the Strensall Training Area; (back left to right) Sergeant Eric Alexander, Corporal Charles-Olivier Long, Corporal Marc-Andre Dufresne-Mackenzie, Brigadier Toby Rowland (Commander 2nd Medical Brigade, U.K.), Master Corporal Michael Monardo, Corporal Paul Charles, Corporal Phil Sisk, (front row left to right) Private Bethany Savage, and Captain Amanda Morrison. (Photo by Master Corporal S.L. Monardo, Medical Technician, 2 Field Ambulance)
Canadians win 55th annual AMSTTE
By MCpl S.L. Monardo
Posted on Thursday August 10, 2017
Military Medical Technicians are used to working in high stakes, stressful situations. This was the case once again for the eight-person 2 Field Ambulance team that represented Canada in the 55th annual Army Medical Services Tactical Training Exercise (AMSTTE), from 30 June to 2 July, held at the Strensall Training Area in the United Kingdom.
The AMSTTE is a medical competition designed to test medical knowledge and abilities as well as soldiering skills, leadership, and physical fitness. This year’s competition saw 22 teams compete in the two-day event. There were international teams from Ireland, Norway, and Canada alongside 19 teams from the UK. The competition focused primarily on UK tactics, battle procedures, and even UK weapons and radios.
The first day of the competition had the teams navigating around the training area to different challenges that would vary from operating in a Role 1 medical facility to conducting a section attack. At the end of the first day the Canadians were in an impressive 4th place with the Irish team right behind them.
The second day was purely physical, starting with 300-metre shuttle rushes immediately followed by a one-mile stretcher carry and an obstacle course. The Canadians remained in 4th place following these exercises, however, that was about to change with the final challenge. The top six teams contended for the coveted first place with a Commander’s challenge that mimicked the Navy’s Field Gun Race.
For this competition, the final challenge required each team to move sand bags, a weighted barrel, and a six foot log under a 20 foot cargo net over a six foot wall, then load it all into the back of a vehicle. Each team then pulled the vehicle to the finish line, unloaded the items and created a replica of an artillery gun using the items - finishing in a staggered team position behind the gun as if “firing” it. The Canadians dug deep and managed to finish the race in first place! This win managed to give the team enough points to finish first overall and become the first international team to take home the championship trophy.
Although being crowned the champions was a huge honour, the camaraderie and relationships formed between countries is the true aim of these events.