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His story we did yesterday about some new concerns over the effectiveness in getting wounded troops off the battlefield for lifesaving medical treatment.
The issue first came to light -- an army specialist on patrol in Kandahar stepped on a land mine back in September.
He survived dad the -- and died after a -- command -- took an hour to get him off the battlefield and bring him back to the days.
Army policies require -- armed escorts for medevac helicopters which can reportedly caused delays and that apparently was -- situation here.
-- this report card -- I have congressman -- Aiken a member of the house armed services committee who we spoke to you yesterday take a lesson.
-- -- -- Obviously doing it a different way.
They have helicopters that have guns on them that still can pick up patients.
So the question is -- people in Afghanistan pay no attention to the white cross on the helicopter.
Does it not make sense to put machine guns cause -- the -- have to wait for the has scored helicopter.
Joining -- -- ten general John Campbell he's operations officer for the US army.
He -- recently returned from Afghanistan.
I general Campbell let's just start with some of the basics of why why aren't medevac helicopters arms.
But generally thanks for very much for the opportunity for soft medevac helicopters in the army is.
Told by department offense we have this -- so were the only service that controls medevac helicopters.
In arming other helicopters is not really I think the issues you mention that it was a policy and there's not a DOD does not an army in the study -- theater policy.
The mandates that you have to arm or have escort helicopters follow medevac helicopters are -- So we do not -- helicopters they have a Red Cross but the -- convention.
And they're trained -- -- equipped to do nothing but medevac missions we think that's very very important.
And success rate.
And your successor is 90% is that right put against militants -- highest -- then -- wanna continue to get that higher.
We continue to learn lessons learned and we want to do everything we can.
And make sure there's no doubt in people's minds that were to do everything that we can to make sure that we get our patients out.
It's a balance between the -- to the patient enough balance to restore the air cruise as we going to bring our patients out.
And that is such a delicate balance and and we understand that any of the situation in September that kind of sparked this story we're specialist Clark lost his life.
He race and red flags because it took fifteen minutes to get a helicopter to him.
And according to the reports in the -- we're seeing some video of the mission because a former Green beret turned blogger was on the mission with the army.
I -- according to his reports an Apache helicopter.
Was not available to escort this medevac helicopter and -- -- this delay.
And it the delay.
Apparently contributed to his loss of life so.
Are you saying that that that requirement to have an escort an armed escort wasn't really the case here that maybe something else was going on.
Which only I don't know the specifics on the case it's under investigation so I can't comment on that McIntyre from my experience.
As a regional command east commander on the ground that decision whether or not to provide an armed escort to medevac helicopters made on the ground.
By the theater commander we want to provide -- the flexibility.
This base a lot of decisions basically the threat on the ground.
And so we want our helicopters -- -- equip and train purposely for nothing for the medevac mission to be able to do that.
And so we make that call in this particular case I don't know all the particulars and again under investigation but -- the guy on the ground.
-- as we need to get medevac helicopter very quickly and -- and the conditions on the ground so that we don't need.
To provide over watch that and Apache or another armed aircraft provides to it.
-- they can make that call on the ground so.
Again we were all about doing everything that we -- to ensure that we get our patients out.
Given back in -- 92% success rate is very very good the highest we've ever -- who wanna continue learn lessons from this and get better -- talked before.
-- -- -- the -- -- it's under investigation in this particular situation in and it it big you know bears mention again that you spent a lot of time in Afghanistan.
I your son is also deploying to Afghanistan you have a lot at stake here.
Professionally and personally in one of the things that we wanted to make sure we talk to you about.
Is it is to it get a understanding of whether or not the army needs more resource is on the ground do you need more Apache helicopters do you need.
More medevac helicopters is there's is some things that we could provide.
As a nation to you that you need in Afghanistan.
To do the job better more efficiently to get 92% a 100% what can we -- Well first off we appreciate the great support from congress from the American people for providing us the resources to prosecute that fight there has a commander on the ground every single night.
We take a hard look at all the resources and dedicate those resources for to permissions.
I don't think that there's an argument on apaches were the number of helicopters over there I've talked a theater as early or as late as yesterday.
Did not have a concern with commanders on the ground that they needed additional Apache helicopters and or medevac helicopters we continue to move those and -- the other piece out there's -- -- force -- -- -- and we had a great meeting with our air force counterparts yesterday.
They have a particular mission with their type helicopters it was on your show yesterday that's for combat search the search in her rescue.
And it's not for medevac they have -- the army.
Where we knew them do that we've been very appreciative of that fact but again I don't think it's resource issue the commanders on the ground have enough flexibility make those calls.
When we do have cases where soldiers do not make it back in time possible every one of those looked at very hard we try to make sure we get those lessons learned from them.
And just declare -- viewers may not have seen that conversation yesterday again there was a question of whether or not the air force had resource is to send.
Oh what is at version if you relevant -- medevac helicopter to smaller crew has different capabilities to this area to get this soldier out.
And whether or not there was a policy.
Problem with releasing air force to do that because this is an army unit I you're saying that's not the case and so that's an important part of the story as well.
Perhaps we're not here forces augmented our medevac when they can do that we've been very very appreciative they have some different capability -- -- based on -- -- May be whether.
And when we need them they've been able to do that but their primary mission is of church and her rescue.
Pilot recovered those type of things again the army.
Has the mission provide medevac for all of our services and even when these air force aircraft to go on and many times we've dispatch apaches based on the situation on the ground.
Provide armed escort for them even though they have.
Machine guns on those are fortunately helicopter -- an important I think we're doing everything we can.
That general is an important perspective we're glad that -- -- -- we're glad you're back home and and this year in your family will look for to have you back on again.
Thanks for emotionally.
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