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Medevac and the Future: Is it Time to Change the Approach

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Technical Report

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Air University Maxwell AFB United States

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The U.S. Army is the only element of the Joint Force with dedicated crews and aircraft for the sole purpose of executing the MEDEVAC mission. It is currently the policy that intra -theater aircraft flown by the U.S. Army will be marked as medical assets in accordance with the Geneva Convention, specifically Article 36 of the First Geneva Convention. This mission has only been executed under the umbrella of air superiority future wars may not afford the United States this capability. As such it is time to relook the assumption that MEDEVAC aircraft should be marked in accordance with the Geneva Conventions. Conflicts of the future are going to be extremely lethal and ones the United States military has not seen since World War II. Future conflicts will not have the luxury of positioning and using MEDEVAC as they are in todays conflicts. Now is the time to look at innovation in both thinking and capabilities to meet the requirements of the future. A change in thinking on this topic requires analysis and understanding the Geneva Conventions, future battlefields, the potential effects of this change, other options available, followed by a discussion of perceptions. Future battlefields will require not only effective medical capability but also survivable platforms. Relooking the model will be a must, as the Army like the Air Force, will eventually have to face the challenge of aging platforms and limited resources including future aircraft. The complex more lethal battlefield of the future requires a challenge to the current assumption that MEDEVAC aircraft must be marked.

Subject Categories:

  • Escape, Rescue and Survival
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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