Today’s insider attack west of Kabul marred the feelings of excitement of a day marking nearly two weeks before I redeploy back home after nearly 9 months away. As I sat in the Command Post (CP) and saw the developing reporting of wounded personnel in the RC-East MEDEVAC chat window steadily increasing from 1 to 4 then 11. My heart raced. This was quickly developing into a MASCAL (mass casualty) scenario. (A MASCAL incident is any incident in which emergency medical services are overwhelmed by the number and severity of casualties.)
As the situation developed and the casualties increased, the request came for 4 MEDEVAC aircraft to respond. I instantly felt a prompting in my spirit to send 2 more aircraft than requested, totaling 6 DUSTOFF aircraft. After they launched, reporting came in that the numbers had increased to as many as 19 wounded coalition personnel, far too many wounded to provide adequate medical care had we only sent 4 DUSTOFF aircraft. If for nothing else, if that moment, that decision, helped save even one life, remaining in Afghanistan longer than I expected was completely worth it.
It is extremely difficult to put into words the effects of moments like today. The fog of war was thick in a cloud of confusion. However, the peace that passes all understanding created decisively accurate clarity in an otherwise confusing hour and a half.
As the dust settles and the final reporting is in, fifteen coalition military personnel owe their lives and a debt of gratitude to hundreds of US forces. Mostly, thanks are due to the selfless emergency medical personnel at Craig Army Hospital and the DUSTOFF warriors that launched in their aircraft with very little information as well as the flight medics fought to save the lives of the wounded during today’s horrific terrorist act. My thoughts and prayers go out to the family members of the US service member, a Major General, which lost his life today while training the Afghans at the Afghan Non-Commissioned Officer Academy. Rest in peace, brother.
@MCWingate / email@example.com