"Men, all I can say is, if I had been a better general, most of you would not be here."
A. FOLLOW AND SUPPORT CONCEPT
Use of a Jump Aid Station by the TF medical platoon is effective but METT-T dependent. The medical platoon leader should jump part of the BAS out ahead in anticipation of surge requirements. Distance is a function of whether the TF is conducting offensive or defensive operations. The senior enlisted medic should accompany the Jump Aid Station to provide medical advice and expertise. This "follow and support" concept facilitates triage forward, which in turn improves the rate of casualty treatment at the main aid station.
Light infantry units have very few organic resources for CASEVAC. One technique, METT-T permitting, is to use a platoon made up of assets from within the BN TF to provide "follow and support" CASEVAC support. This platoon follows the attacking unit performing CASEVAC as required.
B. CONTROL OF JUMP AID STATIONS
Jump Aid Stations must be properly controlled to prevent ambulances and aid stations from accidentally being positioned at risk to enemy action. Designate pre-planned checkpoints along the BN/TF MSR which indicate possible locations for the Jump Aid Station. Include these locations in the operations overlay of BN OPORD. As the Jump Aid Station follows the lead maneuver units and one of those units comes into contact, the Jump Aid Station should move to the nearest checkpoint and prepare for treatment of casualties. As the Jump Aid Station moves into position, make a net call over the Admin/Log net to inform units of its location. Medical leaders must be proactive and "push" their support forward.
C. COMMUNICATIONS REDUNDANCY
Redundant communications is key to providing timely CASEVAC.
Technique: Medics can monitor the TF command net in the BAS. If message traffic is heard that indicates units in contact had casualties, the Jump Aid Station can then jump forward and begin treatment according to a predetermined plan. CASEVAC system is set in motion more quickly than waiting for the message to arrive over Admin/Log (A/L) net. This also provides a backup in the event the A/L net is rendered ineffective due to jamming.
D. MAINTENANCE AND CASUALTY EVACUATION
Co-locating maintenance and medical assets facilitates casualty evacuation. Maintenance soldiers should be trained as Combat Lifesavers and be proficient in casualty extraction techniques from combat vehicles. They should carry appropriate medical supplies as well, such as litters and IVs. Vehicles being evacuated to the rear for repair can carry casualties.
E. INCLUSION OF CASEVAC INTO HOME STATION TRAINING
CASEVAC must be integrated into home station tactical training. TF leaders made the observation that the first few days at a CTC presented great problems because the unit had not rehearsed casualty evacuation during home station training.
Ambulance drivers must be proficient at map reading and navigating mounted over unfamiliar terrain at night. This facilitates getting to CCPs, BASs, AXPs, etc. Land navigation training at home station is critical!!
Sudden unexpected casualties in large numbers can occur during the battle. An example is a mix-dropped CAS strike on friendly troops. CTC experience has shown medical units do not respond to this well. They are not prepared for the massive numbers of unexpected casualties and rapidity of occurrence, nor the distances involved in CASEVAC. The key to success is to rehearse under these conditions at home station. Coordinate with the maneuver units to provide simulated casualties. Training conditions are critical--visibility, distances, terrain, number and types of casualties, transportation .
F. COLOR CODED TRIAGE SYSTEM
This system involves the use of color coded signs during daylight hours and color coded chemlites at night placed in front of the appropriate treatment areas. Any color combination can be used. For example: RED can be used for expectant, BLUE for immediate, and GREEN for minimal. When casualties arrive, the DA Form1380 (Patient Identification Card) is marked IAW the triage system. The litter team then takes the casualty to the appropriate treatment area using the respective color coded term such as "RED" rather than "EXPECTANT." This makes it easier for litter bearers, who are often not medics, to identify which treatment area to take the patient. The result is faster treatment. This system should be included in your TSOP. The color codes selected must not conflict with other operational signals.
G. USE OF MINIMAL PATIENTS
"Minimal" patients, by definition, only require limited treatment and can be returned to duty immediately. At CTCs, medical elements do not maximize use of minimal casualties. These casualties, once treated, await unit transportation back to their unit. This can sometimes take several hours at BAS or several days at the medical company. These soldiers are often able-bodied and can be put to good use by the medical element.
Technique: Use these soldiers for litter bearers, freeing more medics for patient care. These soldiers can also be used for perimeter guard, mess duty, patient administration, or as ground guides.
H. CASUALTY EVACUATION AND THE SCOUTS AND MORTARS
Specialty platoons are not authorized medics. Scouts often operate well forward of the FEBA/FLOT. The mortar platoon operates approximately 1500 meters behind the FEBA/FLOT. These distances from company team (which have medics) can inhibit timely CASEVAC. This problem applies as well to other widely scattered elements such as ADA and GSR teams.
Technique: Conduct coordination with maneuver companies in close proximity to the special platoon. Maneuver companies can assist the scouts by evacuating casualties from forward of the FEBA to pre-planned casually collection points in the company team zone or sector. Coordination may need to be conducted with more than one maneuver company. Maximize training of mortar and scout soldiers as Combat Lifesavers. Companies must coordinate with all units in their sectors behind the FEBA, such as ADA, weapons, and engineers.
I. LOCATING CASUALTIES
Locating casualties during and after battle can be a time-consuming task, especially at night or in dense woods.
Technique: Identify vehicles with critically injured patients by marking the vehicle with a red flag or cloth during daylight and a red chemlite at night. This allows the medics to know which carriers or tanks to go to first to render aid and CASEVAC. Glint tape attached to the casualty permits medics using the IR source on night vision goggles to locate them at night. Whatever the signal, it must be outlined in the TACSOP and deconflicted with other signals.
J. RECONNAISSANCE AND COORDINATION
Reconnaissance of evacuation routes and face-to-face coordination are absolutely essential for both medical and task force personnel. 1SG must insure medics physically recon routes to platoon positions and back to casualty collection points. Medical platoon leaders and platoon sergeants should take evacuation vehicle crews forward when they go to the company locations to coordinate with the 1SG/XO.
This face-to-face coordination helps the medical platoon leader understand the company plan and the company leaders understand the medical plan. It also familiarizes evacuation drivers with routes and terrain.
K. FORWARD LOGISTICS ASSISTANCE TEAM (FLAT)
FLAT has been developed and successfully used in a Light Infantry Division to make maximum use of limited CSS resources. A FLAT is formed for a specific mission of limited duration based on METT-T. It consists of assets from TF and supporting CSS units (maintenance battalion, supply and transportation battalion, and medical battalion). It usually contains medical and CASEVAC, supply, maintenance, transportation, and communications assets which deploy directly behind an assaulting force. The FLAT advances as the maneuver force advances and bridges the gap between the forward element and TF combat trains. The FLAT is not a substitute for LOGPAC, but is used in conjunction with it to provide more responsive support. If the specific mission for which the FLAT is formed becomes drawn out, it is dissolved in favor of the LOGPAC which provides continuous sustainment for the combat force. More on FLAT (and in greater detail) in the forthcoming CSS newsletter.
Table of Contents
Section III: Preparation
Section V: NCO Corner
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