USS Peleliu (LHA 5)
Decommissioned March 31, 2015
Fleet Surgical Team 1 Assists Norwegian Frigate with Emergency Surgery on board USS Peleliu
By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Amanda Gray, USS Peleliu Public Affairs
PACIFIC OCEAN (NNS) -- Amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu (LHA 5) medical team performed an emergency operation on a Norwegian air force officer, June 22.

Norwegian Air Force Capt. Kristofer Pedersen was medically evacuated (MEDEVAC) from the Norwegian frigate HNoMS Fridtjof Nansen (F310) to the Peleliu early Sunday morning.

"When I arrived here from the Norwegian frigate, they had gathered the entire medical team together to treat me, and they were all very professional," said Pedersen. "They worked very hard to get me into surgery and they have been doing a great job taking care of me the whole time that I have been here. I believe that this will strengthen the friendship between the two ships."

Guided-missile frigate USS Gary (FFG 51) assisted with the recovery efforts providing an MH-60S helicopter, assigned to Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 49.

"We have an obligation to render aid, provided that it doesn't place our vessel in distress and that we have the resources to assist," said Capt. Paul C. Spedero, commanding officer of Peleliu. "We are grateful that we were able to help a fellow Sailor. He is currently on the ship recovering well from surgery."

Many departments from Peleliu were utilized to support the mission. The ship was forced to change course, the engines were pushed to full speed, the air department was called upon to recover the helicopter, and the entire medial team worked together to perform the emergency surgery.

"The doctor on the Norwegian ship did a fantastic job diagnosing the patient prior to his arrival, with very little medical equipment on board his ship, and probably saved his life with his diagnosis," said Capt. Donel Elshire, assigned to Fleet Surgical Team 1 (FST-1).

The medical team was able to get Pedersen into surgery around 0445, which took about an hour to complete, and then they moved him into the intensive care unit, where he has been recovering ever since.

"Fleet Surgical Team One did a great job," said Lt. Cmdr. Jill Skeet, assigned to FST-1. "We worked very well together and it all went smoothly. This is the first time many of us have worked together, and we all come from a variety of backgrounds. The patient is well taken care of and we have really come together as a family as a result of it."

Each ship is scheduled to participate in exercise Rim of the Pacific, a large multinational naval exercise. Peleliu is scheduled to be the command ship for the expeditionary strike group and is scheduled to conduct a follow-on deployment to the 7th Fleet area of responsibility.
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