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For debate: health service support planning for large-scale defensive land operations (part 2)
  1. Martin Bricknell1,2,
  2. A Finn3 and
  3. J Palmer4
  1. 1 Centre for Study of Conflict and Health, King’s Centre for Global Health, King’s College London, London, UK
  2. 2 Surgeon General, HQ Joint Medical Command, Lichfield, Staffordshire, United Kingdon
  3. 3 Marlborough Lines, Andover, UK
  4. 4 Allied Rapid Reaction Corps Imjin Barracks Innsworth, Gloucester, UK
  1. Correspondence to Lieutenant General Martin Bricknell, King’s Centre for Global Health, King’s College London, London WC2R 2LS, UK; martin{at}


This is the second of two articles that considers the medical planning implications of large-scale defensive military operations. This paper describes a unified approach to theatre level health services support planning based on four phases: collection, hospitalisation, evacuation and reception. It highlights the need for a modular and agile system of medical capability building blocks that can be grouped together for specific military medical challenges. It also reintroduces the concepts of mass casualty and the medical reserve. These two papers are designed to encourage debate around how we should be organised to face the new challenges of health services support in potential peer-on-peer military operations.

  • public health
  • trauma management
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  • Contributors MB is the primary author and guarantor. All other authors materially contributed to the manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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