Good news. Enhanced Flight Medic Training Begins After over a decade of urgent calls for upgraded training of Army flight medics, it has begun. This article provides some details of what is involved. As noted, Army statistics have long shown that wounded troops rescued by National Guard MEDEVAC crews have a 66% higher chance of … Read more
Just a reminder of the official US Army position on the need to make changes to MEDEVAC policies and procedures. This is the final three paragraphs of the statement issued by the Army Chief of Public Affairs on January 20, 2012 following the CBS Evening News segment on the death of SPC Chazray Clark: “Further, … Read more
A constituent of U.S. Senator Tom Harkin finally received a reply five months after her initial letter and fax to Senator Harkin about MEDEVAC operations in Afghanistan. Despite the date on the Senator’s letter, she just received it today. The letter is another example of how the Army’s spin doctors have misled members of Congress … Read more
The recent discussions about removing the Red Crosses on white backgrounds from the Army’s MEDEVAC helicopters created quite an uproar from Army leadership. They based their arguments against doing so mostly on a misunderstanding the terms of the Geneva Convention. They also disregarded an opinion issued in October 2008 by the Army’s Judge Advocate General … Read more
This timeline shows important milestones in Army MEDEVAC operations in the 21st Century. On the left side of the timeline are Army/Army Medical Department actions, and on the right side are important reports and challenges faced by Army MEDEVAC operations. The history of the MEDEVAC units in the US Army is a long and proud … Read more
Since the Vietnam War era, there has been a tension between the MEDEVAC force and the Army’s combat arms force. At the time MEDEVAC operated with functional autonomy on the battlefield as a Army Corps level unit. During that war when a request for MEDEVAC was received a helicopter was dispatched from the MEDEVAC fleet … Read more
2009 – MEDEVAC Force Expansion “All 37 MEDEVAC companies grew from 12 to 15 aircraft and 85 to 109 personnel. In addition, 9 MEDEVAC companies were added to the Reserve Component. Six new LUH [Light Utility Helicopter] MEDEVAC Companies with 8 aircraft each were added to the Reserve Component in support of Homeland Security and … Read more
Army Medicine Innovations Since Desert Storm About AMEDD After Operation Desert Storm, the Army Medical Department took a number of initiatives to improve soldier health, medical care during deployments and on the battlefield, and the training and tools that medical personnel have to deliver care. These efforts have built a more efficient, better integrated system … Read more
United States Central Command Joint Theater Trauma System HQ, BAF, APO, AE 09354 MEMORANDUM FOR RECORD 7 February 2011 SUBJECT: After action report for MEDCOM Tasker 1039.01C. (90 Day TSC deployment of an Emergency Physician to serve as the medical director for Enroute Critical Care Nurses (ECCN) and MEDEVAC units performing patient evacuation in the … Read more
“ [snip] There is no requirement for a signatory nation to follow the Convention when opposing forces do not respect it. To do so is suicide, yet to placate the denizens of PC, the Army goes right ahead. Perhaps the bureaucrats and politicians who design these policies should first be required to personally oversee their … Read more
Video Report by Brian Thomas “The death of a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan, whose evacuation took nearly an hour after he was wounded, is fueling debate about whether medevac helicopters should be equipped with firepower, not unarmed.”
“The following message was issued behind closed doors by the Department of Army (DA). It pertains to media coverage of the MEDEVAC debacle. There is no foul in monitoring the articles, but the inside glimpse is interesting. TAMPA TRIBUNE COVERS MEDEVAC STORY WITH LOCAL ANGLE: Howard Altman, Tampa Tribune, is doing a story about one … Read more
“Happy Valentine’s Day. It isn’t Valentine’s for those who will get hit with bullets or bombs today. And it will happen. So let’s get down to business. The top officer in the US Military is the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The Chairman is the principal military advisor to President Obama. Recently, Congressman … Read more
Source: Michael Yon
Video interview by Jenna Lee of Fox News. “Congressman Todd Akin (R-MO), Chairman of the Seapower & Projection Forces Subcommittee, discusses concerns he has raised with the Department of Defense regarding delays of Army medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) helicopters in Afghanistan.”
The following letter dated February 3, 2012 from Members of Congress to Secretary of Defense Panetta was reproduced on Michael Yon’s blog:
01-17-2012 “A key lawmaker says the military could save more lives in Afghanistan if the Army would arm its Medevac helicopters rather than worry about its commitment to the Geneva Convention. Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee, said in a letter sent Tuesday to the Defense Department that … Read more
A military blogger’s report blaming Army policy for the death of a solider has sparked a contentious debate in Congress, Politco reports — an issue that has military and lawmakers asking: should Army medevacs should be armed? Politico reports that blogger Michael Yon blamed the September death of Spc. Chazray Clark on the Army’s policy … Read more
Politico.com By CHARLES HOSKINSON| 1/25/12 10:23 PM EST “A contentious debate over arming Army medevac helicopters sparked by the death of a soldier whose wounding in Afghanistan was videotaped by an embedded blogger is spilling into the halls of Congress.” [snip] “This is an issue that has been subjected to considerable review by senior, experienced, … Read more
What the Profession of Arms requires of us first and foremost is trust. So let me speak to that picture for a second and ask you to emblazon it in your memory.
That squad leader is obviously serving in Afghanistan. He is operating because he trusts that that man or woman to his right flank, that rifleman, is protecting him while he does his job. And similarly, that rifleman who is oriented outward is confident and trusts that the squad leader has his back.
It doesn’t get any more fundamental than trust. And trust is built on confidence in each other. And confidence comes from recognizing the competence, the character, the quality of each of us. You’ve got to have it.
The other thing about that picture is that squad leader—you can see in his eyes if you can see the picture clearly enough, the conflicting emotions that mark a battlefield—courage and fear, confidence and uncertainty. He’s on the radio and he’s calling for something. It could be close air support, could be medevac, could be additional guidance. I don’t know what it is. But whatever it is, you know that he’s going to get it and he knows that he’s going to get it. Because what makes us unique on the face of the earth is that as a military if you need something, we’re going to get it for you. You can trust in that.
So that whole picture is an image of trust and trust is the very foundation of our profession. And if you’re not living up to earning your part of that equation, you’re not living up to being a member of the profession.
WASHINGTON (Jan. 20, 2012) — Statement by the Chief Public Affairs Officer – U.S. Army “Recent news items about the use of Army medical evacuation, or MEDEVAC, helicopters in Afghanistan contain troubling information. The reporting suggests that putting red crosses on MEDEVACs, and not arming them somehow, is putting injured Soldiers’ lives at risk. The … Read more
Did a military rule cost a soldier’s life? January 19, 2012 4:51 PM On a September night in Afghanistan, a wounded American soldier died waiting to be evacuated. David Martin reports on a military rule that could have contributed to the soldier’s death. The CBS Evening News video report can be viewed here: Did a … Read more
By Philip Ewing “The Army has no evidence its unarmed medical evacuation helicopters marked with the red cross are attacked more often than other helicopters in Afghanistan, the service said Wednesday, and it strongly defended its medevac policies in the face of criticism from a member of Congress. [snip] “The Army has legal and practical … Read more
Michael Yon gives a concise review of the problems with the U.S. Army MEDEVAC policies in the wake of the death of SPC Chazray Clark on September 18, 2011. Dennis Miller interview of Michael Yon 2012-01-18
Washington Times: Bureaucracy killing U.S. troops in Afghanistan – Political correctness keeps Army medevac helicopters grounded
By James Simpson “The U.S. military has developed the best system in the world for dealing with combat casualties. As medical technology has advanced, new methods of treatment have been developed, and the speed and efficiency of transport from the battlefield to essential medical services has greatly increased chances for combat wounded to survive. So … Read more
By Bill Tuttle “Connectivity, lack thereof, being what it is over here in Afghanistan, I was aware of the latest brouhaha Mike Yon has started about medevacs having target markers — ummm — big red crosses painted on them so we’d be in compliance with the Geneva Accords. I figured the controversy, which … Read more
Comment David L. Bishop, Brigadier General, US Army responds to an inquiry from Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ) about the death of SPC Chazray Clark. The General dutifully repeats the Army’s refrain that 98.5% of all evacuations are made within 60 minutes in Regional Command-South and claims that SPC Clark’s was completed in 59 minutes. One … Read more
By Robert J. Mack “Why are MEDEVAC helicopters (commonly called “Dustoffs”), carrying our wounded troops to safety in Afghanistan, being put at enormous risk by the U.S. Army? Why is the Geneva Convention cited by them for their actions? With every second precious when soldiers are wounded, it is a travesty that the Army will … Read more
[snip] “This combat video was made in September 2011 in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan. A bomb was planted in our path. A young, highly-liked Soldier named Chazray Clark triggered the blast. Chazray lost an arm and both legs. Despite great pain, Chazray was awake and lucid the entire time. A tragedy was unfolding. The US military, … Read more
[snip]…”The Golden Hour is crucial to survival of the seriously wounded. There also are Golden Minutes. The already-bleeding wounded are not the only ones in danger. The casualties provide a golden opportunity for the enemy to shoot down a helicopter and attack the preoccupied ground force. For the incoming helicopters, and ground forces in combat, … Read more
By Gregg Zoroya, USA TODAY Posted 9/6/2011 10:00:37 PM The Army will be training hundreds of new medics in enhanced skills to treat wounded servicemembers during the flight from the battlefield to field hospital, when the most severely injured have a better chance of surviving with an experienced paramedic aboard. The tentative plan is to … Read more
Medical professionals in Afghanistan strive to treated wounded within ‘golden hour’ June 22, 2011 By Navy Lt.j.g. Haraz Ghanbari KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan, June 22, 2011 — An air ambulance crew from Company C, 1st Battalion, 52nd Aviation Regiment, just finished their lunch in a small break room in southern Afghanistan when a nine-line medical evacuation, … Read more
Secretary of Defense Gates embarked on a series of speeches in the Spring and early Summer of 2011, reflecting on the successes and challenges of his tenure. In this speech he draws attention to institutional obstacles to change within the Pentagon. Given the official responses to the MEDEVAC issues being raised, it appears that Secretary … Read more