Showing posts with label medivac. Show all posts
Showing posts with label medivac. Show all posts

Monday, February 13, 2012

Soldier's death sparks debate over arming medivacs

Soldier's death sparks debate over arming medevacs

BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan—It took a medevac unit 59 minutes to get U.S. Army Spec. Chazray Clark to a hospital in southern Afghanistan after receiving a call that a roadside bombing severed three of his limbs. Clark did not survive.

"I need something, please. It hurts," Clark, a 24-year-old combat engineer from Detroit, can be heard saying on a videotape as he waited in the dark for the helicopter.

But the rescue aircraft was unarmed, as are all Army medevacs. And the pre-dawn pickup zone in the Zhari district of Kandahar province was considered "hot," or dangerous, meaning the medevac could not swoop in for the pickup until another chopper with firepower arrived to provide cover.

In Clark's case, the military says there was a delay in determining whether any armed escort helicopters already in the air could be diverted to the scene. It's unclear how long that lasted and whether it made a difference. Army officials said they could not disclose the time Clark died because of a policy not to reveal medical information about casualties.

About 20 U.S. lawmakers have written to military officials inquiring about the Sept. 18, 2011 incident, which has revived a debate over whether Army medevac helicopters should have their own guns.
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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Rep. Todd Akin thinks Arm Medevac helos to save more lives

Lawmaker: Arm Medevac helos to save more lives
By Rick Maze - Staff writer
Posted : Tuesday Jan 17, 2012 19:35:22 EST
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 current Army policy of having unarmed Medevac helicopters is slowing transport of injured troops. The helicopters, marked with a red cross, are accompanied by armed aircraft when flying into dangerous areas.

Army officials responded to Akin’s letter, making the case for continuing the MEDEVAC program as it now stands. Adding weapons, they say, would take up space and weight that could be used for patients.

“Longstanding Army policy and doctrine prohibit the mounting of crew-serve weapons on MEDEVAC aircraft and provide detailed guidance on the utilization of the MEDEVAC aircraft, lest the platform lose its protected status under the Geneva Convention,” the Army wrote in an email to Army Times. “AH64 is infinitely more effective in targeting enemy and protecting MEDEVAC helicopters than arming the MEDEVAC itself.”
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Thursday, August 25, 2011

"For those I love I will sacrifice"

Wounded Big Red One Soldier continues to serve Army family
By Mollie Miller, 1st Infantry Division Public Affairs
January 9, 2012
FORT RILEY, Kan. (Jan. 9, 2012) -- Love can make people do some crazy, unusual, heroic things.

A dance outside in a rain storm, a midnight flight across the country, a dash into a burning home, none of these are outside the realm of what people will do for those they love.

For one 1st Infantry Division Soldier, his love for his family and his country led him into an Army recruiter's office, onto basic training, up the road to Fort Riley, Kan., and around the world to Afghanistan.

And then that love led him right to death's front door.

Pfc. Kyle Hockenberry, 4th Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Heavy Brigade Combat Team, joined the Army in the fall of 2010 after a summer full of friends, dirt bikes and post high school graduation parties. Joining the Army was the realization of a dream for the young man from Marietta, Ohio.

"I always wanted to serve my country, protect our freedom, to keep the life that all the ones I love live safe," the 19-year-old said recently.

Hockenberry's enlistment wasn't much of a surprise for his parents, Chet and Kathy Hockenberry.

"Being a Soldier was all Kyle ever talked about, even when he was little," Kathy said of her youngest son. "I still have all his G.I. Joe guys that he always used to play with because he didn't want me to get rid of them."

Kyle graduated from basic training in January 2011 and was assigned to the Big Red One's 4th Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment "Pale Riders." The Pale Rider team was already busy making final preparations for a deployment to Afghanistan when Kyle arrived and the new Soldier began his own preparations for this upcoming mission -- a mission that would have him leaving Kansas in less than six weeks.

First on Kyle's list of deployment preparations was a visit to a tattoo shop in Manhattan, Kan.

"I had wanted a tattoo for a long time and I wanted to finally get one before we left," he said.

One evening, shortly before the deployment, Kyle and a few fellow Soldiers "went under the needle." One of the Soldiers had his children's names or birth dates tattooed, some had a lucky number or special picture done but Kyle selected a seven word phrase that had been rolling around in his head ever since he decided he was going to be a Soldier.

That night, the tattoo artist etched, "For those I love, I will sacrifice" onto Kyle's right side.

"I thought since I was in the military that it would be a good one to get," he said. "'Those I love' is for everyone -- for my parents, my brother and all my family but it really for everyone in the country."
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"For those I love I will sacrifice" pretty much sums up how they all feel. They are ready to face danger and ready to save a life even if it means they lose their own. If you want to see how much they care about each other, go to the link below and see the pictures going with this article. If you want to know why they are willing to do all of this, read it and know this isn't about killing. It is about caring.

Pfc. Kyle Hockenberry, of 4th Squadron, 4th Cavalry Infantry Regiment, 1st Heavy Combat Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, who was injured in an improvised explosive device attack near Haji Ramuddin, is treated by flight medic Cpl. Amanda Mosher while being transported by medevac helicopter to the Role 3 hospital at Kandahar Air Field in Afghanistan on June 15, 2011. Laura Rauch/Stars and Stripes

Calm in the midst of chaos is lifesaving protocol for medevac crew in southern Afghanistan
Stars and Stripes
Published: August 25, 2011
FORWARD OPERATING BASE PASAB, Afghanistan — It was the worst of places, but the soldiers on the ground had few options when they marked the landing zone for the medevac helicopter. One of their buddy’s legs had been blown off by an Improvised Explosive Device near Pashmul South, and another had suffered a traumatic brain injury from the blast.

Grape rows, tree lines and mud walls surrounded the field. It was the perfect setting for an ambush.

Purple smoke billowed from the landing zone as the crew of Dustoff 59 sped toward a small band of 1st Infantry Division soldiers, waiting with their wounded. As pilot and Chief Warrant Officer 2 Marcus Chambers slowed for the landing, gunfire broke out and the all-too-familiar tat-tat-tat-tat, tat-tat-tat-tat pinged around them.

Chambers set the aircraft down and flight medic Staff Sgt. Garrick Morgenweck flung the door open to retrieve the wounded. As he stepped out, insurgents fired a rocket-propelled grenade from close range, striking a mud wall and narrowly missing the helicopter as it blasted through.
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If you ask a Vietnam veteran why they did what they did, there are several reasons they may give to get you to stop asking them. The honest answer is "we did it for each other" and that is what they are all fighting for today in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Time had an update on this story

No Idle Boast: A Soldier's Tattoo Becomes Truth
Posted by Mark Thompson Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Tattoos are as old as war. Lots of soldiers get them, with military motifs, girlfriend's names, or various guns, skulls or dragons adorning their skin. Some get something less ornate. Private First Class Kyle Hockenberry had For those I love I will sacrifice stitched into his flesh. He had no idea how prescient he was.

A member of the 1st Infantry Division, Hockenberry's world changed June 15. He was on a foot patrol just outside Haji Ramuddin, Afghanistan, when an improvised explosive device detonated nearby. In this photograph, by Laura Rauch for the military's Stars and Stripes newspaper, flight medic Corporal Amanda Mosher is tending to Hockenberry's wounds aboard a medevac helicopter minutes after the explosion.

Kyle Hockenberry, 19, lost both legs and his left arm in the blast.
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Friday, August 12, 2011

Medevac team saves lives in Afghanistan

Medevac team saves lives in Afghanistan
By Seth Doane

(CBS News) Five U.S. troops were killed Thursday by a roadside bomb in southern Afghanistan. The number of casualties in the war has been growing, but more American lives are being saved with high-tech emergency medical care. To see how that is done, CBS News correspondent Seth Doane spent time with a medevac chopper crew in Kandahar province. All they knew was that they were flying toward a mass-casualty event. Having left the lights of Kandahar behind, the shadowy threats this U.S Army medevac team regularly face were only further obscured by darkness. Twenty-five-year-old staff sergeant Kyle Clark hopped out of the chopper to survey the scene. "I jumped out," he said. "I was on the ground maybe 15 seconds [and] they took off. You're out there by yourself. You have no idea what you're walking into." A few minutes later, they loaded casualties on two helicopters. Time was their biggest enemy. These flight medics refer to having a so-called "golden hour" -- just 60 minutes -- to get the seriously wounded to a hospital.
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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Mom Recognized Hand of Dying Soldier Son in ABC News Video

Mom Recognized Hand of Dying Soldier Son in ABC News Video
Emotional Meeting of Vanessa Adelson and Reporter Who Recorded Son's Death in Afghanistan

NEW DELHI, India July 14, 2010
She recognized his hands. In the dark. In less than ten seconds. The way only a mother could.

That's why I met Vanessa Adelson, mother of Specialist Stephan Mace who died on Oct. 3, 2009. She had seen a soldier in a clip of video I had shot in almost complete darkness on the back of a Blackhawk helicopter. She was convinced it was her son.

A colleague in New York emailed me several months ago, asking about my story on the attack on Combat Outpost Keating, a small American base in eastern Afghanistan. I hadn't reported that specific story, but I had shot the medevac flight video used in it.

Vanessa had seen the piece and somehow, in watching just a few seconds of video, glimpsed one of the medevaced soldier's hands and knew it was Stephan. She connected with someone at ABC News who connected her with me.
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Mom Recognized Hand of Dying Soldier Son in ABC News Video

Monday, April 19, 2010

Iceland volcano delays evac for U.S. wounded in Afghanistan

Iceland volcano delays evac for U.S. wounded in Afghanistan

By Nancy A. Youssef McClatchy Newspapers
WASHINGTON — The volcanic ash cloud hanging over Europe is slowing down U.S. military transport of soldiers injured in Afghanistan back to U.S. hospitals by eight hours, Pentagon officials said Monday.

Rather than flying from Germany’s Ramstein Air Force base, which has been grounded by the ash cloud, soldiers are now being transported to the naval base in Rota, Spain. The resulting re-routing to get troops to Rota means an additional eight hours of flight back to the United States, the Pentagon said.

When a soldier is seriously injured in Iraq and Afghanistan, doctors stabilize them there, and then get them to Ramstein where medical teams conduct emergency surgeries and stabilize them for the trip home. Troops then come home to the United States for long-term treatment.

Ramstein is a large mega-base that has been the home for such efforts to save soldiers since 2001; Rota is much smaller and not nearly as engaged in the wars. That said, there are far fewer injuries in Iraq and so far this month in Afghanistan troop deaths at 10, far fewer than the peak of scores of dead that came through Ramstein at the height of violence in Iraq.

Read more: Iceland volcano delays evac for U.S. wounded in Afghanistan

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Saturday, April 17, 2010

U.S. combat-wounded troops war theater to Washington due to volcanic ash

Ash plume over Europe affects medevac flights

By William H. McMichael - Staff writer
Posted : Saturday Apr 17, 2010 10:45:55 EDT

A volcanic ash plume that has severely impacted commercial aviation over Europe also has forced the diversion of all military and commercial contract flights over the region, an official said Friday morning.

The most immediate effect is on U.S. combat-wounded troops, who are being flown straight from the war theater to Washington, D.C., without making the customary stop in Germany, said Navy Capt. Kevin Aandahl, a spokesman for U.S. Transportation Command.

One contracted commercial passenger flight has been grounded in Europe, “and they’re just going to wait out the plume,” Aandahl said.

He said he couldn’t identify the base, or whether it was carrying troops forward to the war theater, for operational security reasons.
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Ash plume over Europe affects medevac flights

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Only 19 percent of medical evacuations in Mideast battle-related

Data: Only 19 percent of medical evacuations in Mideast battle-related
By Teri Weaver, Stars and Stripes
Mideast edition, Wednesday, March 17, 2010

TOKYO — Only one out of five medical evacuations of troops from Iraq and Afghanistan in the past eight years were diagnosed as battle-related injuries, according to a new analysis by the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center.

During the same time, evacuations for mental disorders rose drastically, from 61 instances in 2002 to 1,014 in 2008, the last full year analyzed.

The majority of the medical evacuations from Iraq and Afghanistan occurred because of injuries classified as happening outside the battlefield, including back and knee problems, mental disorders, and other physical problems such as digestive, respiratory or urinary symptoms, according to the report.

The analysis was the first of its kind to look comprehensively at all 52,283 medical evacuations from October 2001 to September 2009, according to Army Col. Robert DeFraites, a preventive medicine doctor who directs the center.
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Monday, July 14, 2008

Aboard U.S. flying hospital

Aboard U.S. flying hospital
An injured Marine lies on a litter in the cargo area of the C-17 Globemaster carrying him and other combat wounded to a military hospital in Germany for treatment. Photo by Carlos Avila Gonzalez / The Chronicle
Aboard U.S. flying hospita
lAir crews from Travis Air Force Base fly missions on the average of once a week, to bring the casualties and combat wounded back from Afghanistan or Iraq to Germany, and then to hospitals back home in the U.S. Duration: 5:57. Camera and Editing: Carlos Avila Gonzalez, Chronicle Staff

click post title for link to the video and great pictures of these medics saving lives.