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Golden Seconds (Open Letter to Panetta and Obama) (Michael Yon)
Michael Yon ONline ^ | Oct 24, 2011 | Michael Yon

Posted on 10/25/2011 12:34:53 PM PDT by nuconvert

Open Letter to Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and President Barack Obama


For the last seven years I have written about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. I have covered the US Army, Marines, Air Force and Navy. I’ve also covered the British, Lithuanian, Afghan and Iraqi forces, among others, in places ranging from Iraq to the Philippines and beyond. My most recent embed in Afghanistan was at personal invitation from then-General David Petraeus. It is said that I have spent more time with American combat forces than any writer in US history. I do not know if this is true, but it’s got to be close. I’ve written three books and probably a thousand articles. My work is known worldwide.

On 12 October, I published a dispatch called “Red Air,” detailing policy shortcomings with US Army Dustoff MEDEVAC procedures. The kernel of the matter is that under the Geneva Conventions, when our Army “Dustoff” MEDEVAC helicopters wear red crosses, they are forbidden to be armed. If they do not wear red crosses, they can be armed.

The Taliban and other enemies in Afghanistan regularly fire upon and hit our helicopters. In Afghanistan, a red cross means “Shoot me; I’m defenseless.” We’d have a better chance warding off vampires with crucifixes.

This battlefield reality causes commanders to send Apache attack helicopters as top cover for the Army Dustoff MEDEVAC helicopters. Yet with perpetual shortages of helicopters in Afghanistan, this leads to delays in evacuating terribly wounded troopers. Importantly, US Air Force, Marines, and the British flying in the same areas do not wear red crosses and are armed. Only the US Army, not the Geneva Conventions, is preventing Dustoffs from using machine guns. Meanwhile, we require yet more helicopters to perform top cover, adding to helicopter stresses,

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Government; Health/Medicine; Military/Veterans
KEYWORDS: afghanistan; airforce; army; dustoff; helicopters; leonpanetta; lithuania; marines; medevac; medevachelicopters; michaelyon; military; philippines; redair; taliban; unitedkingdom

1 posted on 10/25/2011 12:35:03 PM PDT by nuconvert
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To: nuconvert

There are a few of us “dustoff” Veterans here at FR...

Speaking as one, and only for myself, I agree with Yon.

2 posted on 10/25/2011 1:35:53 PM PDT by JDoutrider (The democrat party has morphed into an evil institution that is hell bent on destroying America.)
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To: AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; Bockscar; ColdOne; Convert from ECUSA; ...

Thanks nuconvert.

3 posted on 10/26/2011 4:05:01 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (It's never a bad time to FReep this link --
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To: SunkenCiv

Michael Yon; continuing to do the real work the media has ignored with our troops for 11 years; letting actual events on the ground tell of actual successes and failures whether the telling of it meets with the narrative of the mainstream media or not.

4 posted on 09/26/2012 2:55:31 PM PDT by Wuli
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