The Urgent Need for a Comprehensive, Fully Integrated, Joint Intra-Theater Aeromedical Evacuation System
Air War College, Air University Maxwell AFB United States
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As the Joint Forces priorities shift to threats in the Asia-Pacific region, security and stability in eastern Europe, and countering violent extremism and terrorist threats in the Middle East and Africa, it is critical for the Armys Medical Department AMEDD and the Joint Staff continue to leverage joint patient evacuation assets from all services and coalition partners to efficiently and effectively treat and evacuate U.S. service members and coalition partners from the battlefield.1 The intent of this paper is to focus solely on the aeromedical evacuation AE portion of the medical evacuation system and show that as Army AE force structure is reduced under programs like the Aviation Restructure Initiative ARI, military budgets get smaller, resources become more constrained, and evacuation distances increase because of anti-access and area denial A2AD strategies and reduced logical footprints in combat theaters, it is essential to establish a joint intra-theater AE system. This joint system must have the capacity, capability, and coordinating organizations necessary to efficiently and effectively evacuate wounded service members and coalition partners. In the wise words of General Dempsey, The strength of any joint force has always been the combining of unique Service capabilities in this case AE into a coherent operational wholeto achieve efficiencies and synergies not previously feasible.2 This paper reveals that the DoD and combatant commanders currently lack a comprehensive, fully integrated joint intra-theater AE system that is necessary to improve patient survival rates and decrease long-term morbidity. Five recommendations emerge from this paper that are necessary to establish a comprehensive and fully integrated joint intra-theater AE system.
- Escape, Rescue and Survival
- Military Forces and Organizations