Michael's Dispatches

Pedros

239 Comments

14 September 2009
Helmand Province, Afghanistan

With the war increasing, Air Force Pararescue has been crisscrossing the skies picking up casualties.

That’s the Green Zone of Helmand Province, the opium capital of the world.  Those fields are the great ATM of our enemies here.  The fertilizer used to make those fields green is the same fertilizer used to make countless bombs.

We are flying in a special U.S. Air Force Pavehawk helicopter to fetch a seriously ill British soldier.

In Iraq, many of the casevacs were done by ground forces.  In other words, if we hit a bomb or got shot, soldiers would load up the dead and wounded and rush them to the CSH (Combat Support Hospital or “cash”).  But in Afghanistan most of the fighting occurs outside the cities and far away from the base hospitals.  Rescue helicopters stationed at places like Bagram, Kandahar Airfield and Camp Bastion have been flying thousands of missions.

Air Force Rescue Helicopters launching on a mission from Camp Bastion.

There are numerous helicopter rescue “services” in Afghanistan.  For instance, the British have MERTs (Medical Emergency Response Teams) that fly in a CH-47, and the U.S. Army uses Pavehawks as does the U.S. Air Force.  Special operations teams normally cover their own evacuations.

This U.S. Army rescue helicopter parked at Camp Bastion (Helmand) flies with the red cross symbol allowing the enemy to get a better aim at the helicopter.  Unfortunately, by displaying the red cross symbol, the helicopters are not allowed to carry miniguns or other large weapons.  This seems a rather questionable decision given that the Taliban and other enemies could not give a hoot about law.  It is unclear why the Army decided that a red cross provides more protection than miniguns.

These Air Force “Pedro” rescue helicopters have two miniguns each (total of four miniguns), and the PJs all carry M-4 rifles.  They do fire those weapons in combat.  In July, a helicopter swooped down during a rescue and picked up some wounded soldiers and then was shot down.  The second Air Force helicopter had to get the U.S. Army patients off the bird that had been shot down.  But there was not enough room in the second bird for the Pedro crew.  (No injuries.)  So the tiny Army OH-58 Kiowa helicopters flew out—Kiowas only seat two people and both seats were full—and some of the Pedro folks had to clip onto the skids and fly out like James Bond.

The damaged helicopter was left behind.  Bullets had hit a fuel line and caused the fuel to leak out, and so the pilot had no trouble landing, but the helicopter was now stuck in the middle of nowhere.  So after the Pedros rescued U.S. soldiers who then rescued Pedros, other soldiers flew out to rescue the Pedro helicopter.  The plan was to cut off the rotors and have a bigger helicopter use a cable to lift out the Pavehawk and fly it back to base.  But when the soldiers started using a saw on the rotors, sparks hit the fuel that had leaked and the Pavehawk burned to the ground.  The Army killed the Air Force’s helicopter.

The helicopters take hits.  On another mission in Helmand, an RPG shot through the tail but luckily it missed the transmission; if the RPG had hit the transmission, the entire crew likely would have been killed.  And so . . . those miniguns come in handy.  The gunners are great shots and can return accurate fire within seconds.

Some readers have gotten upset that I call them “Pedro,” thinking the name is secret.  The concern is welcome but not warranted in this case.  The Pedros don’t care and they even have a Pedro patch.

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  • This commment is unpublished.
    Slick · 12 years ago
    Wow Todd B...have an inferiority complex much? You sound like a proud Medic. You should be, but if you actually read this blog, you'd find that you're the only one ripping anyone. Michael Yon, and the Pedros for that matter, have nothing but admiration and respect for everything that Army Medevac does. There's just no way we can match the shear volume of medevac's that need to be done. That's why there's probably at least 40 or more Army birds compared to our nine or so.

    However, we have our roll and the fact of the matter is that we have different capabilities that allow us to go into hotter areas with a lower ORM than will allow your bro's. That's not an opinion. That's why they're not at the Base this was featured at. The average ORM is Higher for Army due to aircraft capabilty and specialized training. The Army has so many aircrew, they must train differently. A lot of my pilots are former Army guys. Ask them, they'll tell you it's just very different. I distinctly remember a mission where Marines hit an IED approx 6 miles from an FOB with Dustoff's (sixty miles from where we were), but we were launched because it was near zero zero vis in a sand storm and we have the capabilities to get there. Another time was when we launched to recover an Army 60 crew that rolled during BO training...oh wait you said that hadn't happened. Well, I guess when all of your info comes from CNN...

    And we're not weasling in on the medevac business. We train constantly for Personnel Recovery (PR) of downed aircrew OR casualties that require exfil while troops are in contact. Weapons employment, countermeasures, ECAS, etc. PR is our term for medevac, we just don't call it that in the ISAF world. If we weren't needed to fulfill a specialized roll, we wouldn't be there.

    That's the difference between you and I. I have nothing but respect for MY Army counterparts. In fact, another reason I know you didn't thoroughly read this is that it mentions a couple of OH-58 bad asses that came into a hot LZ and picked up a few of my bubbas after their aircraft sustained so much battle damage they had to PL. The ONLY Army bashing may have been that the DART tried cutting off the blades while the bird was in a really, really, really large puddle of fuel. Bad idea...pooof. Up in flames baby.

    Now! About this "Army Medics are better than PJ's" when it comes to quality of medical care. When it comes to capability and competence in the medical field...you both provide the same care. Are you a freakin moron. That's like saying an Army pilot flies an H-60 differently than an AF pilot. Same thing stupid. I've flown with Army Medics in past deployments and have been thoroughly impressed. And you can bet there's no PJ that thinks he can provide superior medical care than you (well there probably is, but he wouldn't be arrogant enough to say it)...Todd. PJ's just go through additional combatant training that would make a billygoat puke.

    So Todd...As long as the end result is our guys making it back to see Mama and the kids, you should get over yourself and realize we all have a part in this. I'm sure your fellow Medics are more concerned with their patients than your score.
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    BRI · 12 years ago
    All this "these guys are better than those guys" stuff is BS. No-one downrange has anything other than respect for the guys in other specialties. They are all in it, they all have different jobs, they bust their asses and do them well. You won't see a lot of ego flexing, most are supremely self confident and don't need to pull down thier pants to compare the various sizes of their dingers.

    People only need to make those comparisons if they themselves are insecure.
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    Scott Dudley · 12 years ago
    I "watch" the major cable news programs (FOX, CNN, MSNBC) while I sit at my computer. I am mostly interested in what is going on in Afghanistan so I interupt what I am doing when a story about the AF war comes on. I can say that, far and away, CNN provides the most coverage and very much aligns what I read here on Michael's site. I rarely watch the network shows. I have to guess that those bashing CNN have not watched it for a while. I recommend giving them a look.
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    Netty Nellis · 12 years ago
    Thanks for sharing our unsung stories, which surpass the media hipe. We should never forget as long as there are operational assets across the pond (friend or foe), there will always be Air Force CSAR flying the skies of liberty and hope. In addition, please remember the females such as myself (Flight Engineer), pilots, aerial gunners, and maintainers who have served under the blankets of their male counterparts, only to contribute to the saving of lives in silence. "These Things We Do, That Ours May Live."
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    PJ Class 71-4 · 12 years ago
    "Some readers have gotten upset that I call them “Pedro,” thinking the name is secret. The concern is welcome but not warranted in this case. The Pedros don’t care and they even have a Pedro patch."
    GREAT Photos Michael -

    Pedro was the Call Sign for the Kaman HH-4 helicopter in Southeast Asia - HISTORIC - Read about PEDRO 7 and Bill Pitsenbarger

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_H._Pitsenbarger

    http://hh4 b-husky.net/
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    Kevlaur · 12 years ago
    PJ class 71-4... it's a GOOD day to read about A1C Pitsenbarger; isn't it?
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    Andrew · 12 years ago
    I'm with a lot of people here in saying these guys don't get the recognition they deserve. Brothers in arms, and brothers in blood.

    Semper Fidelis
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    PaveHawg · 12 years ago
    I am a -year retired Chief and spent 27 of those years in Spec Ops and CSAR on Jollys and Hawks. Every day I thanked G-d that we have PJs. CSAR is a TEAM effort and these guys hang out at the very pointy end. After deployments in wars too numerous to count, I never saw any PJ falter; in fact there were times we had to hold them back. They even worked on me a couple of times over the years so I'm here to tell ya....they know their stuff.

    Regarding Gates and the cancellation of CSAR-X; I only hope we can recover from his mental imbalances before it is too late.

    Cheeers,
    HeadHawg
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    Mary · 12 years ago
    Yes, our compromising "deals" wherein we supply the expendable soldiers and other countries support the medical resources for our soldiers (and terrorists and their families). Yet, when they get home, disabled soldiers are urged to kill themselves as a matter of policy:

    http://www.ameripac.org/original-articles/obama-pushing-euthanasia-on-veterans/

    We need to combat that:

    http://www.pva.org/site/PageServer?pagename=about_main
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    Transito Trujillo · 12 years ago
    Outstanding photos and running commentary. The kind of rescue and medical coverage our forces can count on directly demonstrates the worth their country places on theirs lives.
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    Kevin · 12 years ago
    Not sure which is better ... the photography or the writing.
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    Snow Fox 8 · 12 years ago
    Red Crosses on helicopters? You think that doesn't make sense? Come on, for the army that is lightweight. The notion that even after 8 years the Army wouldn't get the memo, change doctrine, call it CASEVAC and arm the snot out of their UH-60L Blackhawks, that this is somehow unusual, well heck, you haven't been around the army then.

    The HH-60L is a different story and a harder nut to crack. This is in fact a dedicated air ambulance with no other tactical role and so the Geneva Conventions are harder to get around. But one might ask as well why the HH-60L was not outfitted with refueling gear and weather radar. I have flown extended hard IFR missions in the Lima and Lima crews launch in conditions as bad as you can imagine, but it is not as capable as the MH-60 or the USAF's HH for range unless it flies with ESSS and then weight and loading become an issue. This is just SNAFU and that is how they do business. Cheers!

    I give the PJs all credit due and I would remind the parochial who comment here that we are all on the same team. While I might criticize USAF leadership for mucking with things like the C-27J and thus depriving the Army of a badly needed asset to replace the C-2 , I think it crazy to criticize USAF units who are as much prisoners of ill-informed and politically driven policies as anyone else in the other services.

    Finally, and I never thought that I would say this, but I think that it may well be time to start streamlining aviation medical assets and consider combining them into a single composite force. Right now US policy is CASEVAC in the NAVY and USAF and MEDEVAC in the Army. The USAF has CCAT teams while the Army cannot seem to conceptualize an equivalent to the civilian critical care flight nurse. In short it is disjointed and the entire system needs serious reworking without the pandering that ends up creating sow's ears out of silk purses once inside the Beltway.

    Kudos to all medics be they PJs, 68W, 18Ds, Coasties or Corpsmen. To the dying soldier on the ground, branch doesn't matter, competency does and we are fortunate to have a lot of that in the US military.
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    Scott Dudley · 12 years ago
    I belong to neither political party. Having worn the uniform for 27 years, I have developed a distaste for politicians in general whose loyalty is focused on themselves, their constituents, and our country, in that order. I do try to ferret out the truth when forming my opinion. Mary, above, takes off on the VA booklet which was published during the Bush administration. Apparently, it was good then and bad now. What changed? I think I know.
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    NewsShooter · 12 years ago
    Scott, such impartiality on your part is touching, really. As for your ferreting ability, not so much. Yes, it was published during the Bush admin. It was also scuttled, dumped, deep-sixed, trashed, and discredited as soon as it came to the attention OF the Bush administration.
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    Scott Dudley · 12 years ago
    NewsShooter, your handle should be footshooter....and you are wrong.

    http://www.moaablogs.org/battleofthebilge/2009/08/va-death-book-and-other-health-care-issues/
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    Michael Bednarz · 12 years ago
    Michael you never cease to amaze me at your relentless efforts to give our men and women, and those of our allies their due. Without you their efforts would go largely unnoticed.

    My little church in Gardiner, Washington has adopted the ETAC, 116th ASOS Washington Air National Guard unit. The late Scott "Mac" McDaniel was an FAC specialist and was a Church member of ours and he passed away 2007. We send packages ever couple of months to the 0 or so unit members in Afghanistan. They are always in our prayers. Of course our Pastor reminds us weekly to do so as he is a former USAF Special Op's Vietnam era vet. God Bless you Michael and be sure to pass on our thanks and prayers to all those you come in contact with, they are NOT forgotten.
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    Grerg G · 12 years ago
    I crewed a/c 2-0-0 in Portlamd before the active duty pukes stole it.
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    Paul Bove · 12 years ago
    Michael: Thanks for the great pictures and commentary about the Air Force Pararescue team. It's an important job that many people don't know about. Your pictures and storytelling really did them justice.
    Paul F. Bove
    Air Force Public Affairs Agency
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    K Bacheller · 12 years ago
    I am an honored PJ parent. When I asked my son Why THIS job? To bring another soldier home to his mom, that's what he said.
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    Doya Meade · 12 years ago
    Great job that you do - and all of them. Amazing. . .
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    PeggyAnn McConnochie · 12 years ago
    Thank you for the dedication to our country! You make us all so very proud! Thank you for serving and protecting all of us.
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    Karen Runyon · 12 years ago
    Amazing, humble, brave servants. Never forget their service and sacrifices.
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    Van Lewis · 12 years ago
    Mr. Yon - awesome story - I've got a close friend on the 48th RSQ, the team that replaced the Pedros at that station. Give a shout out to my capt with the dirt on his upper lip! The future Tombstone 'stache speaks highly of you. Maybe you can get back into the base and ride along with them to get some more stunning images. I'd imagine that if this story was the product of or 4 missions, you could get some outstanding shots with 15-20 missions. I'm envious of your adventures. Keep it up so that I may live vicariously through you (and my buddy).
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    Sando · 12 years ago
    Many thanks to these brave Americans.
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    Al Passori · 12 years ago
    Mike - great reporting and fantastic pictures, exactly what I expect of a professional journalist. I admire and respect you and our brave troops. Keep up the great work sir! God Bless.
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    Scott V · 12 years ago
    Michael,

    Great pics and great story. The photos are absolutely fantastic! Keep up the great work.

    Scott
    Major, USAF (Ret)
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    John S. · 12 years ago
    As a civilian EMT, i have nothing but respect for these guys. Truly elite in both combat and emergency medicine. 0 seconds on scene is something us the in civilian world would kill for! Thank you for telling a story that no one else would.
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    Barbara Emler · 12 years ago
    Great report, Mike. I enjoy all of your great reporting. It's wonderful to know that there are those out there who let the rest of us know what is truly going on.
    Barb
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    Chris K · 12 years ago
    I cannot adequately express my appreciation of the fine people of the PEDRO units. I am not current nor former military. Just a simple citizen that finds it amazing what our VOLUNTEER service people do for us. And wish to thank those that risk their lives for those that risk their live for us.

    Mike thank you for this information about these DAILY HEROS
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    Dave Cox · 12 years ago
    Having recently seen the National Geographic documentary called " Rescue Warriors" I am in awe not only of the risks that Pararescuemen take every day in the course of their duties, but the extreme training these fine men endure to attain their level of proficiency; truly humbling. Thanks guys for your sacrafice and thanks Mike for displaying some of it here.
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    Jacob Burckhard · 12 years ago
    We have a grandson that is a PJ and has done two tours in Afghanistan. We are very proud of him and his fellow PJs. We saw the training that they go through and wonder how they do it.
    Keep up the good work Michael; the pictures give us a good idea of what the Afghan country is like and how tough being there must be.
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    Gino · 12 years ago
    My son is a deployed Ranger and sent me the below e-mail last week thought I would share:

    "I don’t have any reason to believe that you have been watching the news, if you have then you can be the first of all my friends. But if you have then you know that early this month there have been several significant events that have gone down. We seem to be smack in the middle of it all. Which can be nice at times if things go according to plan. Other times it has made for some incredibly somber moments. Either late last month or early this one we lost 2 men from another company as a mass of our guys went into wipe out a huge enemy strong hold. The operation was meticulously planned and I can vouch to the fact that the leadership was among our battalions best but as soon as the assault force hit the ground the whole thing went to shit and the guys found themselves in a fire fight that lasted a better part of a day. There were helos dispatched in order to pull out the wounded that night. The helicopter landed right in the middle of a hot LZ taking fire and stayed on the deck several minutes waiting for the casualties to get on the bird. Minutes that seemed like hours to anyone tracking the fight. I could have sworn that something catastrophic was going to happen to the bird at any moment but the pilots pulled off the exfil and got the crew out of there unharmed. A miracle they didn’t get shot down, if you as k me it was comparable to trying to land a helicopter in the middle of an NFL game without attracting to much attention to itself, that’s how out of place it seemed. To me valor was redefined, it was amazing to witness such bravery. "

    Michael, as you pointed out Rangers have tremendous respect for these brave men.
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    jim o · 12 years ago
    Thank you for rela photos of men doing incredibly hard work. I have a son who is finishing his 2nd deployment as a combat controller in the USAF. I am so proud of him, the men he has served with, and the good friends he has lost.
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    Russell · 12 years ago
    I was recently at the Michigan Aviation Hall of Fame for a Vietnam-era PJ's induction ceremony. It was the first time I got to meet many of his friends and fellow PJ's from way back. They were an outstanding group of individuals. With the technology advances and the benefit of training from instructors with actual experience, I can only imagine how special this new generation of PJ's must be.
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    bill. m. · 12 years ago
    I was so glad to see those pictures of actual missions. Hope the public can have achance to see them. I hope that you ore others. would be able to get more recognition for P.Js .
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    Todd M. · 12 years ago
    Having been to Georgia to see the men return from their tour in AFG and listen to their stories I must say they are truely an amazing group of people. High energy, smart, and humble. Any father would be proud.
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    Jeanenne Nielsen · 12 years ago
    I am so thankful for this troops that give their all. I wish all Americans could be as proud of them. Keep up the good work, and I hope that it is not all in vain and that our President will give them the support that they need.
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    Jeanenne Nielsen · 12 years ago
    I am so proud of our troops. I hope the Lord protects them and they can protect our country and the President will help them. Keep up the good worki.
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    Dustoff-57 · 12 years ago
    Great Job Michael. It makes no difference if it's PJ, Medics or Corpsmen.
    They ALL are life savers.
    To my fellow life savers. I had heard the the V-22 may become the next medical aircraft?
    PS. Michael. I could be wrong, but I think the saying (So that others may live) came from Army Medevac units?
    For the 57th it was ( I'll leave when I have your wounded) Capt Kelly.

    Again GREAT JOB!
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    Jack DBoo · 12 years ago
    Excellent report, and nice work, Pedros!

    More heros in action...I'm so glad to read about somethign postive like this.
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    Jack DBoo · 12 years ago
    I meant "something" not somethign. Sorry...
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    Karen Willis · 12 years ago
    Im so sick of this *&^%& war, if people could have a moment's peace some douche would light a fire somewhere to get another started. That said - please come home safe, prayers are with you and our people over there, just to let you know, everything our people are fighting for over there, freedom and all that, is being destroyed back home, the locals are being taught that former military are white al-Qaeda and yall cant buy firearms [miac report] check into it, we need you here, things are getting bad.
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    Andy Ace · 12 years ago
    It should be pointed out that this is not the mission of CSAR. They are attempting to prove their relevance so as to not have their rotary program cut out entirely. They are flying the MEDEVAC mission and calling it CASEVAC. Army "DUSTOFF" is the true helicopter air ambulance, and never back down from a high risk mission even though they are unarmed. If you want to research some real tradition and stories of heroism, do a quick internet search for "DUSTOFF". There are Dustoff companies in Afghanistan that are more than capable of covering all Geneva/Hague legal marked medevac missions. The USAF is nothing more than a bunch of cowboys looking for action and putting themselves up for medals because the lack the ability to fly smart.
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    Slick · 12 years ago
    Mr. Ace, just so you know, the very same guy that is evaluating the need for CSAR (you might know him as the Secretary of Defense), is the very same guy that ordered the plus-up of USAF H-60's and crews in Afghanistan. Weird. Not because the Army can't handle it, but due to the increased Operational Risk Management in the Helmand and our different capabilities. There are many, many more Army medevacs in Afghanistan than we have, but not in the "Green Zone". Different capabilities, different training...not better or worse, just different. I'm not an Army basher. Quite the contrary. Hundreds of interactions and joint ops with Army Spec Ops and Medevac crews over the years have been an honor for me. Never heard any of 'em whine like you though. I guess they're the ones that actually got in the big game. Keep your chin up big guy...you and Todd B will get a chance.

    The USAF H-60's have been there since the beginning of OEF and OIF to merely handle the fewer high risk missions that are tasked. The Army handles most of the medevacs, but not the few...USA higher-ups hamstring you with an ORM that's too high. It's not because the Dustoff bubba's aren't brave enough. They rock!

    Read above "RE: The real medevac in Afghanistan". Man, you're sensitive. I'm thankful as hell for the Army Dustoff guys. Now buck up, wipe the tears from your eyes, and let's make sure the troops make it home to see mama.
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    handy akku · 12 years ago
    Great job.The Pedros are done with this assignment they hurry home and take over our government.
    Thanks for share.
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    Dustoff Pilot · 12 years ago
    Army DUSTOFF the true medevac in the Army.. We are not bashing the AF, this reporter just is not "telling it like it is" He is putting out lies and stretching facts to make the AF sound like "Batman and Robin" and Army Medevac is like Ren and Stimpy... when that is so not the case. Thats whats the problems with all the Army guys and the problems they have with this aritical and this Iddiot that wrote it. He puts all these facts out as "FACTS" when they are opions and swears by them as facts. And all the masses out there that reads them thinks they are facts and praises the AF and makes a bad image for the army. It makes the army sound like the are 2nd to the Airforce in this mission.. when in fact the army are second to NONE!!! Thats why we take it personally. Thats why we are offended. We have no problem with the Airforce they just have been doing Medevac for what a couple years, when we having been doing it for DECADES!!! They are here now to "HELP" because army medevac is being stretched to its limits on multiple deployments. They do things a little bit differently then we do it, and have a different mantality on how they do things. But BOTH going in to HOT LZs, and BOTH picks up patients of all types of injuries and BOTH brings them back out again! The only difference is that they come in with GUNS a Blazin and US ARMY GUYS do it with just our FAITH and HOPES for the best, are Tactical flying ablitility and are heart to get the guy out of there and to a hospital ASAP. So that guy should have flown with both and then wrote his story so he could have gotten his facts strait... but its to late now, because the army pilots here in afghanistan have read this aritcal and none of them will let him on their aircraft! I know I wouldn't!!!
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    Dustoff Pilot · 12 years ago
    Oh and FYI, the Pedros might have been launched for the Army Helicopter the Rolled over on their BO accident (which is their mission, a true PR mission) But it was US! Army Medevac that got to them first and picked them up! And as far as the ARMY that killed the AF helicopter. It was in bad shape before we (the army) even go there. Do to the AF Cowboy flying. Thankfully noone got hurt on the landing! And there was MANY ARMY guys on the ground that day that told that 1 soldier that "Dont you think what your doing is a BAD IDEA" and that 1 YOUNG SOLDIER... didn't listen. So it wasn't the ARMY that killed it, it was one DUMB SOLDIER that wasn't thinking. So again AF get your facts strait befor you go running your mouth. And dont even get me started on the other PR mission that the AF Pedros were no where in sight when another ARMY Helicopter went down this year!!!
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      hh60guy · 9 years ago
      Wow DP - chill out man. I don't think anyone is picking on Army Medevac. At least as far as I could tell. Maybe I'm wrong... and I have 16 years in Army aviation, and 18 in AF Rescue. Having flown both missions, I think I can see the similarities and the differences. Both are critical and highly skilled at their missions! Thank you Michael for the coverage. You're welcome on my bird anytime buddy!
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    yatesmachine · 12 years ago
    Where I work, the PJs train right across the street from my office. Thank you for honoring (and showing) the very hard work they do every day of their tours.
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    Skip Raymond · 12 years ago
    Great article and pictures.
    I think there is a reason for the use of the name "Pedro" for their mission.
    The name "Pedro" comes from the call sign for the HH-4 F Kaman Huskie helicopters used for fire rescue helicopters used in the 1960's at fighter bases in the States and Vietnam. They were stationed on the bases to be able to respond quickly to a crash where fire trucks could not reach. AIC William Pitsenbarger, from Piqua, Ohio, was a PJ on a Pedro when he was lowered into the middle of an Army fire fight. His actions made him the most junior Air Force Medal of Honor recipient.
    I just discovered that they are doing a movie about Pitsenbarger. Bruce Willis is in the movie (not as Pitsenbarger.) Check out http://www.imdb.com/title/tt078 640/
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    J · 12 years ago
    Dear overly sensitive and insecure Army MEDEVAC kid,

    I'm sorry that things are so poor for you in your career that you must insult others to build yourself up. I have worked with Army MEDEVAC many times and have found them to be professional and capable .. you, however .. I would not want anywhere near a real mission. Your insecurity and NEED to pump yourself up by putting others down shows me you lack the skills, confidence and professionalism it takes to be a part of that community. It is a true shame you slipped through the cracks... your community suffers for it. Truly you should perhaps look towards another career more suited to your childish ways.

    PJs are not medics .. they are personnel recovery specialists. The focus is on trauma care .. rescue the patient and get him stable so that he can live to enjoy it. PJs are not MEDEVAC, though they have been misused as such in both Iraq and Afghanistan. PJs are CSAR and the mission is much different than MEDEVAC. Attempting to insult the medical skills of PJs is not only tacky but it is a lie. Standards are quite high in the PJ careerfield for all skills needed, medical proficiency is part of that. All PJs are held to the same standard as every other SOF "medic" as well as standards specifically for the PJ careerfield .. they must pass the SOCOM ATP exam to operate. PJs will attend courses conventional medics will never see .. this is because they will often times find themselves in a hostile and denied environment and will have to provide care for long periods of time without support.

    As for PR missions that AF CSAR did not cover .. are you so naive that you believe a CSAR crew would turn down a mission? The Helo crews don't get to choose their missions, they are assigned. There have been many instances where AF CSAR was ready and waiting only to be denied. I won't bother to educate you on the successful PR missions AF CSAR has accomplished or the sacrifices crews and PJs have made while attempting to carry them out. It would be lost on someone like yourself.

    I'm sorry you've never accomplished anything in your life to be proud of. I'm sorry you lack the maturity and professionalism of a true Soldier. I'm also very sorry for your community that you make it look bad. Hopefully no one gets the misconception that Army MEDEVAC is nothing but professional and adept.

    I'm sure your immaturity will rear its head again and you'll reply to this with yet another angry, mindless rant ... so .. enjoy yourself.

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