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Iraqi Air Force performs first MEDEVAC
By Cpl. Jess Kent, MNC-I PAO
Mar 22, 2007 - 3:04:30 PM
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An Iraqi flight surgeon tends a wounded policeman during the first Iraqi Air Force intra-theater medical evacuation from 28th Combat Support Hospital to an Iraqi Facility March 4.
Blackanthem Military News, BAGHDAD, Iraq - The Iraqi Air Force conducted its first intratheater air medical evacuation when a wounded policeman was transported to an Iraqi care facility March 4.

Iraqi crew members piloted a C-130 cargo and transport aircraft, proudly flying the Iraqi colors, while an Iraqi flight surgeon tended to the wounded.

The injured Iraqi policeman, who suffered a gunshot wound to the back, was transferred from 28th Combat Support Hospital to an Iraqi facility. In a display of the growing capabilities of the Iraqi Air Force, the movement was performed solely by Iraqi personnel.

“From a joint movement request with the Joint Headquarters Operations Center to the ambulance driver for the flight-line transfer, Iraqis are exercising the processes they built for approving and executing a mission,” said Maj. Mark Morris, chief of medical operations, plans and effects, Multi-National Corps-Iraq Surgeon’s Office.

The Iraqi flight crew and medical personnel received extensive training at Al Muthanna Air Base, Baghdad International Airport, prior to the mission.

“The Iraqi Air Force has been flying with the Coalition Air Force Transition Team for about two years,” Morris said. “They have several thousand hours of experience in various aircraft and they’ve been training specifically in flying the C-130. The Iraqi Air Force is developing the concept as part of a transportation and budgeting strategy to use three C-130s for evacuation.”

While Iraqi air crews are experienced, Morris said this is the first time all of the Iraqi assets for intratheater medical evacuation have been tied together.

The entire mission was conducted with Iraqis in the lead, ranging from air crew members, loadmasters and medical personnel in the air to ambulance attendants and hospital staff members on the ground.

This capability of the Iraqi Air Force could eliminate the dilemma of many recovering Iraqis who are medically evacuated from combat zones by coalition forces.

“They’re usually picked up by U.S. helicopters and taken to U.S. hospitals,” Morris said. “Once they have recovered, there’s no way to get back to the area of operations because they’re no longer patients. Typically, they have to be regulated through Iraqi transportation to get back out there.”

Instead of waiting during this delay, in the future wounded Iraqi security forces may have a faster and more care-specific ride home.

“The Iraqi Air Force may help with the distribution of medical logistics and the ability to repatriate Iraqi civilians to their homes,” Morris said. “They will be able to return soldiers to duty — from injury to care and then back home.”

ADDITIONAL PHOTOS:

 
Iraqi air, ambulance and medical crews tend a wounded policeman during the first Iraqi Air Force intra-theater medical evacuation from 28th Combat Support Hospital to an Iraqi Facility March 4.
Iraqi air, ambulance and medical crews tend a wounded policeman during the first Iraqi Air Force intra-theater medical evacuation from 28th Combat Support Hospital to an Iraqi Facility March 4.

Iraqi air, ambulance and medical crews tend a wounded policeman during the first Iraqi Air Force intra-theater medical evacuation from 28th Combat Support Hospital to an Iraqi Facility March 4.

 

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