Combat Medicine

Lt. Gen. Jim Roudebush, USAF Surgeon General, told attendees at AFA’s Air & Space Conference Sept. 16 that the fact that the Air Force has “been at war 18 years, with an optempo that has continued,” has ensured USAF medics to remain “light, mobile, and responsive to needs” across the spectrum, from war on terror operations to hurricanes and humanitarian relief. He said, “We have on-call assets in CONUS, USAFE, and PACAF; we also have … an operations capability package that includes stand-alone hospitals that can be delivered to remote locations worldwide, within hours.” And, Roudebush explained, from the battlefield to a hospital Stateside, the Air Force-Navy-Army team provides “a progressive sequence of care,” and added, “We’re not duplicating each other, we are interdependent and we’re leveraging each other.” He lauded the use of the C-17 with an aeromedical evacuation package, saying it has proved “to be a very capable platform for this mission.” USAF is also using C-130s for medevac and the Air Force medical team has transported more than 53,000 patients during operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.