Politico.com: Should Army medevacs be armed?


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, combat-tested officers in the medical, aviation and ground combat communities, and [the current policy] reflects the best balance between mission accomplishment and care for the soldiers,” Army spokesman George Wright said. “We’re concerned about this issue because there’s concern being presented to us, but this is not an issue on which we have doubt.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0112/71975.html#ixzz1nq1xMxYf

Comment

Given the current widespread support from members of the MEDEVAC community to arm MEDEVAC helicopters, the statement that considerable review has occurred and that flying unarmed helicopters is the best balance solution is questionable. It would be interesting to see evidence that such a review has taken place in 2011-2012. Did the rank and file MEDEVAC crews have a say in this “considerable review”?

The Army’s Chief Public Affairs Officer recently touted the fact that the Army reviewed the MEDEVAC policies and procedures in 2008…when casualty counts were less than one-sixth current levels and the Army was still flying with a two hour mission success metric. Yet, he said the Army stands by its determination made at that time that no changes are needed.

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