There is an agenda afoot to discredit the Army’s policies with regards to arming our MEDEVAC helicopters and removing the red crosses that identify medical aircraft with a red cross on a white background according to Geneva Conventions that the United States is a signatory.
(1) Display the distinctive flag of the Geneva Conventions (red cross on a white background) over the unit/facility and in other places on the unit/facility as necessary to adequately identify it. (The other emblem recognized by terms of the Geneva Conventions is the red crescent. Emblems not recognized by the Geneva Conventions but used by other countries, such as the red shield of David by Israel, should also be respected.)
(2) Mark with the distinctive Geneva emblem (red cross on a white background).
As a supporting argument, the “writer” uses the Marine Corps and Air Force as reasoning to remove markings, saying those services “already use armed helicopters to evacuate wounded.”
However, just a few months ago, Marine Corps News published the following:
2nd Marine Aircraft Wing (Forward) moved a detachment of helicopters from Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 267 to Forward Operating Base Edinburgh so that air ambulances and the attack helicopters that support them could be at the same place, at the same time, when they’re needed most.
“I can get medevac helicopters from here to most locations in under 10 minutes,” explained Redmond, who is deployed to Afghanistan with Marine Air Control Squadron 2.
Before aircraft were moved to the forward operating base, medical evacuations would have to wait for support from Camp Bastion. Redmond said the flight from Camp Bastion could sometimes take up to 30 minutes.
But, wait a minute. Why would the Marine Corps need to move attack helicopters to protect “armed” MEDEVAC choppers? Probably because the Marine Corps doesn’t arm their own MEDEVAC choppers. As a matter of fact, The Marine Corps does not have dedicated CASEVAC aircraft. Any of its aircraft can be utilized as a “lift of opportunity” upon completion of its primary mission.
So, if the Marine Corps is using armed helicopters to evacuate troops, it’s because that is all they have. The Corps even uses the Army’s Medical Evacuation in a Theater of Operation Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures Field Manual 8-10-6.
The truth is that the Marine Corps and Air Force have Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) aircraft, which are a completely different animal than MEDEVAC. The Air Force is the lead agency responsible for this mission much like the Army is the lead agency for MEDEVAC.
Now, think about this realistically. How many Air Force personnel actually operate out in FOBs away from medical facilities? Not many; mainly the JTACs. The rest are based on larger FOBs where the airframes and air operations take place. So, the Air Force has no need for a dedicated MEDEVAC air platform because the possibility that they will be deployed without Army units is slim to none. Their choppers, HH-60 Pave Hawk, are used primarily for CSAR missions, but can also provide limited MEDEVAC support.
Likewise, the Marine Corps is a much smaller and more mobile force. They specialize in killing people and portraying the might of the United States without prejudice. They rely on largely on support from the Army as well in evacuating its casualties. The Marine Corps views CSAR as an implied tasking as opposed to an actual mission and operates its aircraft accordingly.
So, here’s a challenge to readers: show me a photograph of a dedicated Marine Corps or Air Force MEDEVAC or CASEVAC helicopter that is armed! Being around combat doesn’t make one an expert in combat. USAF and Marine Corps CSARs are armed because they are mainly tasked as downed pilot recovery, sometimes shooting bad guys that are also trying to recover a downed coalition pilot. US Army medevac is tasked with the medical mission of treating the wounded on the battlefield & is marked according to the Geneva Convention. 2 seperate functions. I’m not even going to respond to the British parallel because we’re the United States, not Great Britain.
Please write to your Congressmen and Senators and ask them to pass a resolution recognizing the hard work and dedication of our combat MEDEVAC personnel and their persistent, professional, and competent efforts to care for our wounded. Let them know what a great job these troops are doing with their 99% survival rate.
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