A Study of Initial Treatment and Evacuation of Simulated Casualties in a Cold Weather Environment
ARMY RESEARCH INST OF ENVIRONMENTAL MEDICINE NATICK MA
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A scenario was designed to test present medical doctrine, training, force structure and equipment for initial treatment and evacuation of wounded personnel in cold weather regions. A platoon size unit, experienced in cold weather operations, was deployed on a combat mission in Alaska without prior knowledge of the scenario. An observation team from the United States Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine intercepted this unit and tasked them with treatment and evacuation of five simulated casualties. It was assumed that adverse weather conditions and enemy hand-held SAMS precluded air evacuation. Thirty-six inches of snow cover prevented mechanized transportation until an access road was attained three kilometers away. Observations from this exercise led to the conclusion that present medical doctrine, training, force structure and equipment are totally inadequate for initial treatment and evacuation of wounded in cold weather regions. Application of the present approach would result in disaster in a wartime situation. It is recommended that appropriate agencies reconsider all medical aspects of cold weather operations.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics