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CALL Newsletter 04-13
Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF)
CAAT II Initial Impressions Report (IIR)

Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF)
CAAT II Initial Impressions Report (IIR)

Chapter 4: Combat Service Support
Topic F: Health Service Support

Subtopic 11: Personal Protection (Weapons) for Medics

Observation Synopsis

A medic on a convoy or raid typically carries an M16 rifle for personal protection in addition to his aid bag. The length of the full sized M16 rifle makes it difficult to exit a HMMWV (that still has its doors) or carry/lift a patient. Usually the rifle needs to be put down on the ground or left with the vehicle when treating a casualty, making it difficult to keep in arm's reach. If the M16 rifle is affixed to the medics' web gear, typically with a D-ring or strap to the right side, bending over a patient on the ground results in the weapon restricting range of movement.

Lessons Learned

  • Since medics carry weapons purely for personal defense, an M-9 pistol or an M-4 carbine would serve them better than an M-16 rifle while treating casualties. This would allow them to maintain control of the weapon while caring for a patient instead of laying it on the ground.

DOTMLPF Implications

Materiel: Provide medics & healthcare providers with an M-9 pistol and 9mm submachine gun (HK MP5 or similar) - light and small enough to keep affixed to the Soldier during all aspects of combat casualty care in the field. As an alternative, substitute the M-4 carbine for the M16 rifle for medics and healthcare providers.

Table of Supporting Observations

Observation Title CALLCOMS
File Number
Personal Protection (weapons) for Medics 10000-57456

Table of Contents
Chapter 4-Topic F-Subtopic 10: Medical Communications (Internal)
Chapter 4-Topic F-Subtopic 12: Medic Bags

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