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Author Topic: Terrorism analyst and former SAS member ALEX GARDINER has just spent a week in A  (Read 4650 times)

Offline tigershark

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Terrorism analyst and former SAS member ALEX GARDINER has just spent a week in Afghanistan with America's Dust Offs
By Alex Gardiner
Last updated at 10:45 PM on 09th August 2008

Terrorism analyst and former SAS member ALEX GARDINER has just spent a week in Afghanistan with America's Dust Offs - the helicopter teams who bring the wounded and dying out of battle. Here, he relives the terror of his trip and the heroism of the crews who risk everything to save friend and foe alike.

It's 43C (109F) in the shade at Afghanistan's Bagram Air Base when the nine-liner, the military equivalent of 999, comes in. Within three minutes the airborne medics of 31 Delta, Charlie Company, 6th Aviation Battalion are loaded into their Black Hawk helicopter.

Fifty yards away is our armed escort, the Black Hawk Chase Bird, call sign Grim Six. It has a picture of the Grim Reaper, cloak flowing and scythe aloft, painted on its fuselage.
As it rises in formation behind us, I recall the brief given by our crew chief as he waved at the medical equipment bolted to every square inch of the cabin in which I am travelling: 'Hey, Alex, if we crash, in the unlikely but happy event of any of us being alive, feel free to help out.'

We land in a blizzard of dust and the flight surgeon and his Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) leap from the helicopter and jog towards a knot of uniforms clustered around a figure on a stretcher.

I see our patient, a Taliban fighter, covered by a space blanket complete with matching silver bonnet.

He is manhandled on board, one of the escorts climbs in, the other two escorts hop on the Chase Bird and the reception party exchange fist salutes with our crew. The rotors that never stopped turning hoist us into the sky.

'So, let me get this straight,' Graham the co-pilot says over the intercom. 'We're up here getting shot at. We have some guy on board who has spent a morning trying to kill US soldiers, whose very desire is to die in battle. We are spending $4,000 per hour per bird. We're shipping his ass to Bagram to give him the best medical care available in Afghanistan.'

He pauses for effect. 'Just so he can get better and come after us all over again.' Another pause. 'Everyone OK with that?'

There is no reply; the two medics are busy with a person they see as a patient, not an enemy. I see a well fed young man in his early 30s, with a dark curly beard. He is spattered with blood and has tubes up his nose and in his chest and arms. His hands are covered in blood.

Full story & Pictures from source
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1043151/Taliban-shoot-minute-fly-hospital---Life-US-airborne-medics.html

Offline shawn a

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EXCELLENT POST, Tigershark
Wierd there were no replies.
Shawn A

 



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