Health Service Support from the Seabase
NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT
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Sea-based operations have been called a critical future capability for the United States military. Sea-based operations will greatly diminish the logistical footprint of combat service support elements, including health services support HSS. In order to provide combat casualty care from a seabase, Navy Medicine has developed or is developing Forward Resuscitative Surgical Systems FRSS, En Route Care Systems ERCS, and Level III medical treatment facilities MTFs aboard future Maritime Prepositioning Force MPFF ships. This paper examines the strengths and weaknesses of these developments and their impact on combat casualty care. The author concludes that in reducing its footprint to become more sea based, Navy Medicine may inadvertently overreduce its casualty holding capacity. This will make HSS more dependent on aeromedical evacuations, which have heretofore been provided to Navy Medicine by lifts of opportunity. The author recommends that a modest casualty holding capacity be retained ashore and that dedicated air ambulances be assigned to provide aeromedical evacuations from naval MTFs. In addition, a sea-based heavy lift aircraft will have to be developed to clear the seabase of combat casualties during armed conflicts with high casualty rates.
- Medicine and Medical Research
- Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies