UK Exercise SAIF SAREEA 3 saw components of first Armoured Infantry Brigade conduct kinetic armoured infantry manoeuvres in Oman in temperatures that at times exceeded 50°C. This paper presents the methods of acclimatisation, recreational physical training in the heat, and reacclimatisation training conducted in theatre during this exercise. In order to reduce the risk of heat illness, individuals underwent either validated heat acclimatisation training in accordance with current policy, or adapted training as dictated by musculoskeletal restrictions or job specification. Direction was issued regarding recreational training. There was a theatre medical consensus agreed for the practice of returning soldiers to the exercise after admission to a medical treatment facility due to the effects of heat and data were collated on all LAND (Army) acclimatisation and heat illness presentations. The rates of climatic effect were much lower than expected in the medical estimate based on Exercise SAIF SAREEA 2 and similar exercises. Only five LAND patients fulfilled the in-theatre case definition of exertional heat illness of a deployed LAND forces population at risk of 2550. Zero patients who were returned to the exercise after symptoms associated with climatic exposure were subsequently readmitted with heat illness.
- general medicine (see internal medicine)
- primary care
- health policy
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Contributors MS and SW did researching, drafting and writing of 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 for publication Not required.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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