NEWS

JANUARY 9TH 2018

US Exchange just one of the many reservist opportunities

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Major Cori Wilkerson on the left and Major Lindsay Baigent on the right during the training exercise in Gosport.

An Advanced Nurse Practitioner from Lincoln who has been serving part time with the Army for 14 years took part in a Military Reserve Exchange Programme where she got to travel to America and learn more about how her role differs in the National Guard Reserve.

Major Lindsay Baigent has served with 212 Field Hospital for the entirety of her military career, a role like this allows her to develop professionally in both settings and she has taken part in a number of different courses that have broadened her nursing and medical experience.

The Military Reserve Exchange Programme provides an opportunity for military reservists from NATO countries to take part in an exchange where they participate in training exercises with other militaries, learn more about the country and develop their skills both professionally and personally.

Lindsay was partnered with Major Cori Wilkerson during the programme. Cori has a similar military and civilian role but as Lindsay explains there are some key differences: “Physician Assistant is what they call my level in the US, they work autonomously; they see patients and treat them. I got to see where Major Wilkerson works at an Emergency Care Centre and how she is able to do more physical tests and investigations than I can where I’ve worked.”

Explaining the kind of training she took part in, Lindsay said: “I was lucky enough to be involved in the ‘once every three year’ Mass Casualty exercise at Denver International Airport, which involves all military services and civilian emergency services, and was on a scale I have never seen – with an ‘aircraft crash’, multiple dead, triage of casualties and meeting senior officers involved with the planning of the exercise.

“The 928th Area Support Medical Company Field Exercise was great to be involved in. The soldiers were keen to show me their clinical skills and to know how their training compares with our Field Hospital exercises in the UK.”

As part of the programme Lindsay also got to participate in a lot of different cultural experiences.

She continued: “I went to the botanical gardens, I went to some restaurants in Denver because I’m a bit of a foodie, and we did the Manitou incline. It’s a mile high climb, that was a challenge but it was a fun thing to do. It was a jam packed two weeks and obviously

Lindsay and Cori

Lindsay and Cori preparing tea for the Americans

things like the Guns and Roses concert that I got to go to in Denver were amazing. During the trip it was very humbling to be presented with a US Coin of Excellence by the Colonel of the 928th.”

In the UK Lindsay and her American counterpart Major Cori Wilkerson took part in a training camp in Gosport, were given a tour of HMS Victory, sailed to the Isle of Wight, visited Sandhurst Military Academy and got to take a D-Day War Room Tour at Southwick House near Portsmouth.

This is not the only international trip Lindsay has taken part in this year speaking about her recent adventures, Lindsay said: “This year I was skiing at the end of January, then I was in Kenya with the Ghurkhas, as well as the Gosport camp which was part of the Military Reserve Exchange Programme. I also went to the annual camp in Gibraltar and I’ve just done a week of rock climbing in Alicante.”

Previously Lindsay also completed two tours of Afghanistan, both in 2007 and 2011, during which she was based in the hospital at Camp Bastion.

Speaking about what she hopes to do in the future, Lindsay concluded: “Our annual camp is going to be in America next year. We went to Wisconsin two years ago and it was great so I’m definitely signing up for 2018.”

“This year I was skiing at the end of January, then I was in Kenya with the Ghurkhas, as well as the Gosport camp which was part of the Military Reserve Exchange Programme. I also went to the annual camp in Gibraltar and I’ve just done a week of rock climbing in Alicante.”