Michael's Dispatches



20070501 XY2I0425-1000Letter from home

10 January 2011

Increasing progress is being made on the Army helicopter MEDEVAC problems.  Media attention has been building and appears that it will soon break big.  Communications are coming in spontaneously from key places.  Support for improvement is snowballing.

Pilots and crews continue to help behind the scenes but the active duty folks cannot speak publicly due to career concerns.  Without their help and encouragement, we would not have made it this far.  There is more going on than I can now track.

Most of the more significant areas of progress are still behind the scenes.  It is a fact that many Senators and Representatives are now aware of the issue.  (And more than just in passing.)  The Secretary of the Army has passed the buck with his letter to Senator Grassley.  The Army is openly playing hot potato.  CBS and other media outlets are taking keen interest.

Much has already been written.  The list of links below is far from exhaustive, but provides a basis of knowledge.

(Note: inclusion of links to outside writers does not imply that I agree with everything they’ve written.  For instance, this has nothing to do with Presidential politics.  Separately, certain milblogs not listed have written about the topic with apparently zero research under their belts.  No links to the prattle.)

Red Air: America's Medevac Failure (Major Description of Attack and MEDEVAC failure)

Fool's Gold, Troop's Blood (Important video of MEDEVAC failure)

Golden Seconds (On Tactics)

Crusader Copters (Red Cross: Mark of Crusades in Afghanistan)

Passing the Medevac Buck (Secretary of Army Passes the Buck to CENTCOM)

Take Me to Your Leader - If You Have One (CENTCOM Passes the Buck back to Army)

Pedros (Doing it Right: US Air Force Pedro Combat Search and Rescue in Afghanistan)

Delta Force Commander (Former) on Dustoff Medevac (Former Commander in Delta Force Weighs in)

BigPeace: A Pilot's Perspective on Michael Yon's Medevac Debate (A Former Pilot Weighs in)

The American Thinker Weighs in

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  • This commment is unpublished.
    Larry · 9 years ago
    Sometimes it take a young child to say things that are more relevant and to the point than us older folks. It seems perhaps that finally the issue of Dustoffs is being taken seriously. Thank you Mike for your hard work getting this issue to the forefront.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    John Collins · 9 years ago
    I was deployed to Diego Garcia back in '04 and would mail postcards back to my son's 2nd grade class, describing all the cool sights and wildlife there. Two years later I volunteered for what would be a 2 1/2 year TDY to Hill AFB. Once again I sent postcards of Utah sights to my daughter's 2nd grade class (same teacher, she was cool). About halfway through the school year I received a big package in the mail. When I opened it up it was full of letters from the class, telling me thanks for the postcards and for me to be safe. The one letter that said 'HI Daddy!' no doubt told me who the author of that leter was! Even being only 1700 miles away from home in KY, I was in tears because of these kids and what they did for me. I still have the package of letters and drawing.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Robert F. Forsyth · 9 years ago
    I'm glad to see this subject starting to pick up a broad support base. As a RVN aviator I have never liked the DA policy of using the red cross on our medevac choppers. One need only read "We Were Soldiers Once...and Young" where med evacs could not go into the Id Drang LZ due to heavy enemy fire, but several "Slicks" came through many times to get the severely wounded out. That alone should have gotten the Army Brass to reevaluaate the red cross issues! I have done the same on missions flown in the highlands with no complaints from my leaders. So a huge thank you for your effort on behalf of the ground pounders.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Army Mom · 9 years ago
    Sure, it's a form letter, but it's more than others have gotten from their Senators, and I appreciate it:

    Thank you for providing me a copy of Michael Yon's recent article regarding medical evacuation practices in Afghanistan and taking the time to share your thoughts with me. It is important that I remain abreast of issues affecting Texans, and you may be certain that I will keep your views in mind as I fulfill my duties in committee and on the floor of the Senate.

    I appreciate having the opportunity to represent the interests of Texans in the United States Senate. Thank you for taking the time to contact me.

    United States Senator

    517 Hart Senate Office Building
    Washington, DC 20510
    Tel: (202) 224-29 4
    Fax: (202) 228-2856
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Matthew M · 9 years ago
    From the Big Peace link. Last paragraph.

    "2. That Red Cross on an aircraft means it no longer belongs to the parent service of the crew. Anybody, including the enemy, can flag down a dedicated medical transportation vehicle (including a helicopter) and demand his wounded be transported to a medical treatment facility – even if it’s the enemy’s facility."
  • This commment is unpublished.
    avi player · 9 years ago
    The picture looks so cute. This child is really talented. Wish I could draw like that!

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