Skip to comments.The Decline of Dustoff (Medal of Honor Huey pilot bemoans today’s medical air-evacuation process.)
Posted on 06/27/2013 11:45:05 AM PDT by yoe
"When I have your wounded."
Those words set the standard and example for generations of Dustoff crews, which provided helicopter aeromedical evacuation from the battlefield. They were also the death rattle of Maj. Charles Kelly. In terms of lives saved, his sacrifice was perhaps the most productive U.S. combat death ever. Kellys story may be instructive in demonstrating the shabby state of evacuation and care of wounded warriors today.
A World War II veteran, Kelly was in command of the 57th Medical Detachment (Helicopter Ambulance) in Vietnam in 1964. At the time, the 57th covered Vietnam with five UH-1 helicopters, better known as Hueys. The primary mission was recovery of U.S. casualties. Nearly 16,000 GIs were in country, mostly as advisers, and they suffered few casualties. Thus, the 57th did not fly a lot.
[snip] To illustrate the current aviation ignorance of Dustoff,.....
[snip] The truth is that the changes are driven by command-and-control issues, risk obsession, CYA and ignorance of the uniqueness of Dustoff. The lack of a champion, ignorance and medical department leadership are contributing factors (one high-ranking medical general had never heard of Charles Kelly). More tragically, unlike with many changes in the Army, subject-matter experts wise men, white hairs were not consulted on the change.
(Excerpt) Read more at legion.org ...
“Negative your medevac request. All medevac pilots currently in diversity and sensitivity training.”
But then "bravery" is one of many important words that Osama Obama can't even *spell*,let alone recognize or define.
There is a book, “Dead Men Flying” (Pat Brady).
Very much worth reading.
I watched all of the episodes of this cable TV program. It was good but the series descended into political correctness in doing nothing more than filming these very well trained para-rescuemen being an air ambulance taxi for the locals.
INSIDE COMBAT RESCUE
The Airforce “Pedros” seem to be doing fine
Actually they don’t transport as many locals as what seemed to be.
Remember the one with the kid who was shot in the head? They had the choppers spooling up on the pad and were recalled because it didn’t meet the MEDROE.
"The truth is that the changes are driven by command-and-control issues, risk obsession, CYA and ignorance of the uniqueness of Dustoff. "
With all due respect to the General I’ll throw the BS flag on a couple of his claims. Mainly Bat-21. Bat 21 was destroyed by a SA-2 surface-to-air missile and Hambleton was the only survivor, parachuting behind the front lines into a battlefield filled with thousands of North Vietnamese Army soldiers. I thought the world of Dustoffs when I at Portcall for 15 months (67-69) (thus Portcall 24) and know how many folks they saved but if they’d have sent Hueys to North Vietnam they would have been scattered all over the country-side. Flying and fighting inside South Vietnam was damn different than going downtown to Hanoi. The second point is in regards to their reputation.
If you’ve read “We Were Soldiers Once and Young” you know where I’m going with this. Here’s a quote from a History Channel article:
“On some occasions the infantry had particularly bad experiences with dustoff crews. William Shucart reported of the Ia Drang battle: “We were trying to get the medevac ships to come in but they would not. A couple of Huey slicks came down but we were taking fire and the medevacs wouldn’t come. When you are taking fire is precisely when you need medevac. I don’t know where those guys got their great reputations. I was totally dismayed with the medevac guys. The Huey slick crews were terrific.”
And here’s the link:
Having said all of that I’d agree with the General that thousands of young men are alive today or lived wonderful lives because of the sacrifices of the Dust Off crews...but they didn’t do it alone.
That is good to know.
Most likely though PC Nat Geo made sure that plenty of scenes of picking up the local hajies to deliver to our military medical facilities for treatment were shown.
The key sentence in the piece:
“The truth is that the changes are driven by command-and-control issues, risk obsession, CYA and ignorance of the uniqueness of Dustoff. “
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You’re correct about that being a key sentence. The issue has been there for a long time and was portrayed in Hal Moore’s book and later movie “We Were Soldiers (Once...and Young).” Today’s version of the issue is amplified through other PC crap like the totally-bogus ROE imposed from DC. This gave us troops being sent to military prison for killing the enemy, careers cut short such as happened to LTC Allen West, and multi-level consultations on the radio before blowing up ragheads placing IEDs in the roadways. Makes me sick...
IIRC, in one of the last episodes they were transporting ANA to the ANA hospital
Thanks again Ronnie.
I would like to say a special thanks to the Dustoff pilots and crews everywhere, Without their help it is doubtful I would be here.
I have no recollection of my last ride,but I had previously witnessed them fly through the gates of hell, pick them up and fly out the same gates.
Snappy salute as well! With full respect and admiration.
This made me grin. Actually there was a Air Force rescue helicopter and they were always known as “Pedro”. Seldom went very far from the edge of the base perimeter. Had two counter-rotating wooden blades.
Garry Owen, Sir (U.S. 7th Cavalry Salute)
Los Al base helicopter simulators take final flight (Huey)
Bingo. It’s not that the medevac crews aren’t spring loaded to launch, it’s the bureaucracy of risk analysis and sheparding limited resources for that mass casualty scenario that rarely occurs. Every branch in the Army has it’s sacred cow and the MSC’s is Medevac.