Michael's Dispatches

Passing the MEDEVAC Buck

03 January 2012
Los Angeles, California

Our Army medical evacuation helicopters in Afghanistan frequently come under fire.  These helicopters are clearly marked with the Red Cross on a white background, signaling to the enemy that they are unarmed.  The Red Cross is also a symbol from the Crusades.  A poster found in a village listed crosses as symbols to be destroyed.

Unarmed medical helicopters lead to delays in medical evacuations due to the fact that Army medical helicopters need armed helicopter escorts.  Also they often will not land on very hot landing zones, causing yet more delays.  Air Force rescue helicopters do not wear Red Crosses and are heavily armed, and so can get in more quickly and safely.

The Air Force, Marines, British, and Army Special Operations Forces do not use the Red Crosses.  Only Army medical evacuation helicopters alert the enemy that they are unarmed.

It is a travesty that our Army medical evacuation helicopters are forced by Army leadership to continue to alert the enemy that they are unarmed.  This situation and the battlefield consequences have been brought to the attention of many ranking officials.  They have done nothing.  (Well, not entirely nothing.  They have stated clearly that I am unwelcome to return to combat embeds and even put out an alert for me.)  Their actions and inactions are uninspiring.

Here we see the Secretary of the Army passing the buck to CENTCOM:


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