Michael's Dispatches

Congressman Akin MEDEVAC Letter to SecDef



Akin medevac letter to secdef 01-17-2012-1

Akin medevac letter to secdef 01-17-2012-2

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  • This commment is unpublished.
    kevin · 8 years ago
    I believe that this letter is written with the proper emphasis on the systemic condition instead of focusing on any particular incident. Make the Army brass explain the policy instead of being able to hide behind "facts" which can be easily manipulated.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Andrew M · 8 years ago
    Perfect tone, demanding answers in a bull-shit-me-not vein - focusing on the policy. Opens a can of whoopass on their lame response to Sen Kyl. Eagerly awaiting the SecDef response.

    Nicely played Congressman Akin!
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Mike Barnett · 8 years ago
      An excellent letter indeed. Now Panetta can show us if he has a pair of brass ones, or a couple of marshmallows, by the way he handles the letter AND the situation.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Michael Yon Author · 8 years ago
    Agreed: this was a well considered letter. Nicely put.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Carolyn B · 8 years ago
    Too much in our military policy seems erratic, non-sensicle and self-defeating.
    It appears, we are overly concerned about the enemy, which we treat with such deference. It's amazing more of our troops haven't been killed.
    Has Rep.Alan West heard about this situation? I recommend you get to him.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Scott Dudley · 8 years ago
    and momentum. Bravo Zulu!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Dave Siplinger · 8 years ago
    It never ceases to amaze me that we allow our 'GENIUS' politicians(Congressman Akin excluded) continue to tie the hands of our military so our casualties will either be extremely high or with every war(police action WTF??) we've been involved in destines us to lose. What Congressman Akin addressed only one very significant issue that needs to be rectified. The other issues(s) would be untie the hands of our military and stop affording the rights(protections) found in the Geneva convention to terrorists who even if they had signed on would not honor it.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Lynda P · 8 years ago
    I am both amazed and pleased to see this letter. Mr. Aiken is my congressman, and I wrote him an email about this situation. One of his aides left a voice mail on my phone, talking about the Geneva convention and basically indicating that nothing could (or would) be done about it.

    So either the aide was mistaken or else the congressman has changed his mind. Either way, I'm very glad to see this. Cong. Aiken is a good man and I'm pleased to see him step up to the plate on this one. This was the first time I have ever written a congressperson about anything. It's nice to see results!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Valerie Conley · 8 years ago
    I hope you all realize that he is wrong in his letter in at least one instance -- Air Force Special Ops uses Pedros which Michael keeps insisting is Medevac -- it isn't. Pedros are for casualty (hero -- deceased) evacuation -- Dustoff MEDEVAC is used by everyone in the war zone to evacuate their wounded and even some of their heroes.
    And Michael keeps bringing up Chazry -- he seems to forget his intimate detailed posting of his death is one of the reasons he is no longer in Afghanistan. I don't expect this to say up long because he has a long habit of deleting anything he doesn't agree with, but it is my opinion and I have every right to voice it.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Michael Yon Author · 8 years ago
      Valerie posted three sentences and is wrong in every sentence.

      I know well the difference between CASEVAC and MEDEVAC, but bets are Valerie is clueless (since she made errors in three out the three sentences). Pedro is NOT for deceased evacuation. They evactuate wounded and deceased. Yes, I have done missions with Pedro. Doubtful that Valerie has ever seen one, or would recognize Pedro if they flew overhead.

      In regard to Chazray, that has nothing to do with my disembed. I communicate with his mother frequently, which of course few people know. Including Valerie.

      Finally, Valerie's comment is still up, so it's not deleted.

      Three sentences and three errors.
      • This commment is unpublished.
        John of MD · 8 years ago
        Mr Yon, you should have referred Valerie to look at your Pedros story from 2009. On page 4 and 5 of this story, are photographs of LIVING CASUALTIES being medevaced and treated by the Pedro crew. Photographic, irrefutable evidence that proves that Valerie does not have a single clue of what she is speaking about.

        Go away Valerie, you have nothing meaningful to contribute.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Corey · 8 years ago
      I would have to disagree with this assessment. The Pedro call signs had a specific mission, they had the ability go respond where the dustoff bird could not,ie night missions. They also ran with the PJ's that are Paramedics vis the Army dustoff that had mainly US army Medics,big difference. The Pedros or dustoff both ran Angle flights unfortunately as a Canadian medic I had to work on many US serviceman that had grievous injuries, some did not survive, but I know what landed in my LZ. I have completed 2 tours in Afghanistan before I too was wounded and evaced on a dustoff bird, I have the deepest respect for the US forces.. particularly those that respond " so others may live". they have and will continue to do outstanding work. My experience in Afghanistan showed that the Taliban knew the difference in the helo's responding and waited specifically for the medi-vac. ICOM chatter alone confirmed this. the assessment in this letter from the Congressman is correct.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Ian · 8 years ago
      MEDEVAC is the evacuation of wounded via dedicated medical evacuation vehicle.

      CASEVAC is the evacuation of wounded through any other means.

      Taught by US Army Combat Lifesaver Course
      • This commment is unpublished.
        Sam · 8 years ago
        In todays terms, CASEVAC has come to mean MEDEVAC in a contested/Hot LZ. We can shoot our way in and out if necessary!

        And to also correct Valerie, Pedros are not Special Ops they are big blue Air Force. We have the dual role of Combat Search and Rescue in support of all coalition aircrew that are downed for any reason and MEDEVAC.

        Pedros are more capable in many ways but primarily in our defensive capabilities. The aircraft are armored/armed and our PJs bring medical support and firepower on the ground.

        The Dustoff crews are outstanding and brave but unarmed. We simply bring a different mindset from leadership on the "how" to bring ours home!

        These things we do, that others may live!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Mark Mako · 8 years ago
    Bravo Congressman Akin! Thank you Linda P. I too wrote to my Congressman and Senators and I received nothing more than automated email replies from Congressman Rob Wittman, Senator Mark Warner And Senator Jim Webb. They all represent Virginia and all have large military populations (active & retired) who they represent. I am going to follow up with them to ask what - if anything - they have done with my writeen inquiry to them. I will include Congressman Akin's letter as an example of stating facts and asking tough questions to the appointed civilian military leaders. Lastly, remember that SecDef Panetta is a professional politician. His response to this issue will speak volumes of his character and his support for the troops. I suspect he may hand it off to Gen Dempsey, Chairman, JCS for action.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Michael Yon Author · 8 years ago
    Many of us greatly appreciate your pushing.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    MikeM · 8 years ago
    This needs further discussion on the national level in the media. If only we could get them to look past a couple stupid Marines urinating on corpses long enough to realize we're losing warriors to another "pissing" contest.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    James F. McClellan · 8 years ago
    Very good letter. Keep up the good work Michael.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    JB · 8 years ago
    1st off I needed to breathe. Valerie is a complete fool. PJ's, CCT's and ANY JOLLY GREEN crew will NEVER buy a beer if I am around. The Pilots AND GUNNERS of the Jolly greens MOTTO: THAT OTHER MAY LIVE! Not "We recover casualties", are complete heros. They go into Hot LZ's to rescue people having the worst day of their lives. http://www.pararescue.com/awards.aspx

    LOOK IT UP you complete IDIOT. Our PJ brothers go in under horrible fire to save others. Roberts Ridge PJ'S! I can go on and on. But I am too mad.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    JB · 8 years ago
    The F!@# Army wants to have AIR TAXIS available to them to tool around the theater and CONUS and a combat aircraft can't be used for that, so they have red crosses. Not to ,and with all due respect to our COMBAT surgeons, ferry a bunch of NON-LINE minimal training Medical officers to the golf course in time. Yeah I said it NON LINE. That means a private and a Dr 4 star crash and are captured, the PFC is the senior ranking. Look up Non Line Thats who wants these Helos
  • This commment is unpublished.
    JB · 8 years ago


    SEND THIS STORY TO YOUR CONGRESSMAN!! PJ's rescuing people under fire.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Carolyn B · 8 years ago
    Eric Cantor has a contact page on his website with space to write what you want.If enough people write him, he will react. You do not have to be in his district.
    It seems to me, since Congress isn't doing a damn thing for their salaries they are required to do, more of them should be able to pay attention to this. It is an election year, after all. We are in wars with troops on the line.If any of your Representatives, and/or, Senators, appear in your district, go and question them, directly, and refuse to let them off the hook.Find out their relevant voting record for the Military concerns and confront them.Every year, there are more and more Vets, whose vote can't be sabotaged by a missed mailing date, or whatever.Make those in office accountable.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Concerned Citizen · 8 years ago
    Now OSD has recommended a study to disband the Pedros and move the manpower and money into another service in SOCOM. Most likely USMC, who have a very small number of forces and find supporting SOCOM difficult.

    This would surely end the only dedicated rescue force the US has, and create a situation where future wounded Americans and our allies must rely solely on unarmed MEDEVAC and part-time "additional duty" rescuers. We've seen this before and the result is always the same, dead Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, and Airmen.

    Save Rescue for our next generation of warriors in need!!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    johnathan R · 8 years ago
    Medevac birds have personnel to treat enroute and track patients going to higher level care.Regular birds do not have these personnel as is not their primary mission. The casualty may be picked up quickly but die enroute due to lack of care. Medivac birds with a red cross would be commiting a war crime if they carry any more than light weapons for self defense. The red cross may not be respected in the current fight but may be in the future. We can't just pick and choose rules or they lose substance. I am unfamiliar with this story but if it is an airspace issue and Pedros have appropriate medical personnel and self protection I would imagine that combatant commanders or who is in charge of the airspace should have the authority to have joint service coordination SOP's in the event of a timely evacuation.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    johnathan R · 8 years ago
    The use of appropriately-trained medical staff and equipment for the sustainment of the casualty throughout the MEDEVAC chain (in doctrine referred to as continuity of care) is the difference between MEDEVAC and CASEVAC. This is described in STANAG 3204.
    Tracking the movement of the casualty through the continuum of care is a basic planning requirement. The regulation of the treatment and the flow of casualties within the evacuation chain is an essential prerequisite to ensure, treatment meets the needs of the patient and the movement of the patient is executed in in the most effective and efficient manner.
    While I agree that removing a casualty from the battlefield should not be a political decision there are factors to consider.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    johnathan R · 8 years ago
    Detailed rules applying to aircraft are spelled out in Articles 24 to 31 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I on International Armed Conflict. This prohibits the use of medical aircraft to gain any military advantage over an adverse party and allows the adverse party to the conflict to force the plane to land for inspection. If the aircraft is in conformity with the rules, it should fly on “without delay.” In the event of a violation, it may be seized, although the sick, the wounded, and medical or religious personnel among its occupants are to be treated as protected persons. Medical air transports are allowed only to carry light weapons for self-defense as well as the small arms and ammunition of the sick or wounded. They cannot be used to collect or transmit intelligence data or carry equipment for such purposes or even to conduct searches except by prior permission
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Pedro Pilot · 8 years ago
    Sun Tzu teaches that you must attack an enemy at his center of gravity; his most crucial spot. I can tell you, as an Air Force officer, there's nothing more crucial to a military service than laying claim to a certain type of mission and the associated dollars.

    It seems that if the Army thought they might lose the CASEVAC mission (and associated fiscal support) to the Air Force, they might be more willing to affect change. Don't confuse this as a statement that we Pedros are better at CASEVAC than the Dustoff guys. I'm simply saying that we are less hampered by the politics of the red cross in this regard.

    Food for thought!

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