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Monday, January 14, 2008

Dustoff Three-Zero... 3 Heroes On Board

This video is just amazing...

Here's the CJTF-82 account of the rescue.
Consider this scenario: The Crew Chief operates the hoist, as he pulls a casualty into the aircraft. This is a one person operation that is difficult to perform when the casualty is in a SKED, especially when the casualty has the added weight of body armor and equipment. The Medic rides the hoist to the ground and back up, time and time again. Imagine performing this operation 20-25 continuous times wearing Night Vision Goggles (NVGs), the Crew Chief continuing to advise the pilots of aircraft drift and rotor clearance as the mountain side is dangerously close. He ensures the hoist is ready for the next lift and watches the Medics hand and arm signals as he also directs the positioning of the aircraft. It becomes apparent this task is physically exhausting and difficult to master in routine conditions, let alone this punishing-unforgiving terrain at night.

The cabin of the aircraft becomes crowded, and the difficulty the Crew Chief and the Medic have maneuvering recovered personnel inside becomes increasingly challenging. Dust-off has a crew of 4: Pilot, Copilot, Crew Chief, and Medic. During one of the earlier MEDEVAC missions the previous night, Dust-off, with its normal crew of 4, extracted 8 casualties, and 1 non-injured soldier in a single lift for a total of 13 on board. That operation was conducted under zero-lunar-illumination NVG conditions with no supplemental lighting used in the rear of the aircraft due to the tactical situation, adding dramatically to the level of difficulty.

Dust-off departed the pick-up (PZ) zone after 31 combined hours of medical evacuation, and without further incident. Dust-off was PZ clean.

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