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Chapter 6
Health Considerations, Movement Security, and Civil Disturbances


6-1. Although many of the considerations applicable to counterinsurgency operations are also applicable to conventional operations, some require special emphasis. This is primarily because counterinsurgency operations often take place closer to civilians than conventional operations. This close proximity requires leaders to place greater emphasis on health considerations, movement security, and reactions to civil disturbances. This chapter addresses those considerations.


6-2. During counterinsurgency operations, Soldiers have a greater probability of close contact with the civilian population than during many conventional operations. For that reason, leaders and Soldiers work with Army Medical Department personnel and policies to conserve the fighting strength. Disease and nonbattle injury historically cause the most casualties during operations. Proper training, appropriate risk management, and the application and enforcement of effective preventive medicine measures can prevent many injuries and illnesses. Enforcement and application of health and preventive medicine standards are a leader's responsibility. (See Appendix G.)

6-3. Appropriate and limited medical attention may be applied to indigenous populations at the discretion of the commander and proper military medical authority. This care may be appropriate where the level of local civilian medical care is limited or nonexistent. Limited medical assistance may enhance the acceptance of multinational personnel within the local population. If possible, HN medical personnel should be included when treating indigenous people. This can enhance the stature of the HN government. Media coverage of medical assistance can create a positive effect on people's views of the HN. Nonetheless, the media should be unobtrusive to avoid creating a perception that medical attention is being provided primarily to gain favorable press attention.

6-4. Be aware of and sensitive to local culture, customs, and taboos relative to medical care and the interactions of multinational personnel with the local population. Be tactful and culturally appropriate when giving medical or humanitarian assistance.

6-5. Take care not to overextend or take on a mission greater than policy or capability dictates. Medical care must not interfere with operations from a logistic or personnel standpoint, nor constitute or imply an overall policy, absent the proper approval from appropriate authority.

6-6. Be prepared to train indigenous forces, in first aid or other health-preventive medicine subject areas. Coordination with higher preventive medicine or veterinary service personnel may be appropriate in the indigenous population area.

6-7. All interactions between Soldiers and indigenous populations are opportunities to make positive impressions and have the potential to change attitudes for the better with the local population. Every effort should be made for Soldiers to be viewed as friends of the local population; indeed, this may pave the way for willing acceptance of multinational personnel and activities.

6-8. Force protection and the timely collection of potential intelligence are always primary planning and implementation factors regardless of the mission--medical or humanitarian. Force protection is always an imperative, and intelligence gathering throughout the AO is always a top priority.

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