Michael's Dispatches

RED AIR: A Private Forum


00020MTSStill001cc1000Soldiers react seconds after IED strike

28 November 2011

Every day in Afghanistan there are casualties requiring helicopter evacuation.  There is a high probability that as you read this, someone is bleeding and in the process of extraction from the battlefield.

US Army MEDEVAC helicopters fly unarmed into combat emblazoned with Red Crosses on white backgrounds.  This signals to the enemy that our people are unarmed.  The enemy tries to shoot them down.

The Air Force, Marines and British do not burden their helicopters with Red Crosses and they are armed with machine guns.  This facilitates faster, safer evacuations.  Army helicopters frequently must orbit landing zones because there is too much ground fire.  This happened again less than a week ago.  A trooper suffered a double amputation during an ambush.   The Army Dustoff had to orbit for about 45 minutes due to ground fire.

Pilots and crew from numerous Dustoff units have recounted to me many such events.   It is my belief that Dusftoff Soldiers will confirm to journalists that such long and unnecessary delays are common.  Meanwhile, Air Force rescue helicopters have large machine guns and will shoot their way in and get out faster.

The US Army burdens its Dustoff helicopters with Red Crosses due to internal political struggles about who controls the helicopters.  This leaves patients bleeding on battlefields.

Many people who are up to speed on the facts know that this tragic situation needs to change.  Many of those caring people have already contacted representatives across the country.

We have created a private forum for action-minded people to exchange information and ideas.  This forum is not a place to debate whether or not helicopters should go into combat unarmed and bearing Red Crosses.  This forum is for those who wish to change the situation.

Many people have contacted me offline.  Some are concerned that taking a public stand can damage their careers, or the careers of loved ones.  Some of these people are in key military positions.  If you share such concerns, please create a fictitious email and use a pseudonym.

To enter the RED AIR Private Forum, please register a username and password: Forum

If you are interested but not up to speed on the issues, please take time to visit these links before joining discussions:


Fool’s Gold & Troops Blood (Video of combat MEDEVAC failure)

Golden Seconds (More on MEDEVAC failures)

Pedros (Air Force Search and Rescue)

Marked for Destruction


Say something here...
You are a guest ( Sign Up ? )
or post as a guest
People in conversation:
Loading comment... The comment will be refreshed after 00:00.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    frank · 10 years ago
    Yeah and the People and old useless Politicians put up with this crap. In the meantime we give the (0ur Ally) Packys Billions and their Prez speaks with a forked tonque. This war is getting old when our troops have different ROE's then our enemy. I say take off the gloves and lets clean-up the mess and leave. Take out Billions back and tell them if the Nukes are a problem we can fix that too! The making of another Vietnam when politicans and Touchy Feely folks get involved.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      myvalon · 10 years ago
      useless politicians is right. the trickle down effect from washington politics is touching the small towns cause they are taking a lesson from what they are doing and getting by with and small town politicians are now pulling the same thing. oh for a little honesty and integrity and those who were statesman or real military men and not career people who do whats right care for the lives of others and their country. there are a few but not many. i always did think the people who served in the military were getting a bum deal when it came to health care and protection. will the bad and the ugly ever stop surfacing for all to know? and even then where are those who will pick up the baton and fight corruption in high places. i would like to see some former military men in politics. the honest ones.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Tom Hart · 10 years ago
    Whether or not there is an international dispute on who controls these MEDIVAC copters, the crews and the vehicles belong to the United States Army and the US Government and under the command of the President of the United States. If the president signs an executive order, those air ambulances could be armed to the teeth immediately. Of course, Barack Obama would be at first against this but if you make politically untenable for him, he will cupitulate. It is soon to be an election year, we should push on this issue hard in the Congress and White House and in the election. I know politics is not wanted on this forum but if we can be successful, we could save so many lives of wounded US soldiers on the ground in Afghanistan. In savage moral-less, honor-less cultures, they take pot shots at ambulances. When they shoot at your ambulances, they only respect you when you immediately respond to them with massive heavy machine gunfire and thus thin their herd. Such savages have just barely discovered their hind legs.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Michael Yon · 10 years ago
      There is no "international dispute." It's an internal dispute within the US Army.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    cmholm · 10 years ago
    It can't hurt to hassle my senior Senator while he's still chairing the appropriations committee.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Marcia · 10 years ago
    The more I learn about the situation in Afghanistan... the more people I tell about Michael Yon's dispatches. I don't have time to research things on my own but seeing and hearing it from the people who are there brings it home. This is the first time I have contacted a legislator about anything. I wrote a letter to Mike Pompeo's office that was e-mailed. I received no response. Has anyone else gotten a response?
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Process Engineers · 10 years ago
    Thank you for sharing this information.
    It will really helpful to solve my confusion

    Process $ Chemical Engineering
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Sandy Daniels · 10 years ago
    Our Military has been under fire for years now. Men have been arrested who refuse to fill out the "will you shoot American citizens questioner". Yes we need to be aware and safeguard our troops, the government surely won't.They have even rewritten the UCMJ so we MUST accept homosexuals in the service. God help our men in uniform. The USMC runs armed choppers, as well as the USAF. The ARMY needs to catch up so they are allowed to get to the men on the battle field who will die in the days and weeks coming if this isn't changed. What are the stats for the other services rescue times? What happened to the ARMY pilots who were the men of steel in the Vietnam war? They were FORCED to have failures in dustoff duties. You have my full support Mr.Yon

Reader support is crucial to this mission. Weekly or monthly recurring ‘subscription’ based support is the best, though all are greatly appreciated.  Many methods are available to keep the work rolling. Click the image for a more info.



Quick Link to Paypal

Recurring Donation

QR Code

QR Code


To support using Venmo, send to:


My BitCoin QR Code

Use the QR code for BitCoin apps:


Or click the link below to help support the next dispatch with bitcoins: