Deployed SOF members save critically injured patients

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Aaron Cram
  • 353rd Special Operations Group
Deployed special operations forces supporting Operation Enduring Freedom recently evacuated three critically injured coalition members from an austere location in Afghanistan.

The efforts of the aircrew from the 17th Special Operations Squadron and special operations medics eventually saved the lives of two coalition soldiers and the limb of a U.S. Soldier.

The three soldiers were part of a larger group of coalition forces injured when an improvised explosive device detonated near the soldiers. The injured soldiers were transported to a nearby military medical facility at the austere location for treatment. The local medics determined the three critical service members had injuries they could not properly care for at their facility. The medics decided time was a factor and called for a medical evacuation to a higher-level trauma center.

The evacuation call alerted the 17th SOS crew and SOF medics that there were two unconscious coalition soldiers with severe head injuries and facial trauma on breathing machines and an U.S. Soldier with a time-critical, limb-threatening injury. The SOF medics assembled equipment and requested supporting medical specialists due to the challenge of managing ventilated patients en route. Thirty four minutes after being alerted, the 17th SOS crew and medics were taking off in a MC-130P Combat Shadow heading for the austere location.

After the successful patient transfer from the austere location, the three patients were delivered to the trauma center for care and subspecialty surgery. The time-critical movement of the patients provided the coalition soldiers with the life and limb-saving care they needed.

"This mission shows the unique abilities of our special operations aircrews and medics," said Lt. Col. James Brandenburg, the 17th SOS commander. "We wish missions like this are never needed, but we are always ready and able to execute them at a moment's notice. I'm extremely proud of the aircrew and medics involved with the critical care that saved the lives of our teammates who are out there on the frontlines. Because of their valiant efforts, our coalition soldiers are receiving the care they need and able to start their road to recovery."

The MC-130P crew for the mission was: Capt. Adam Asleson, Capt. Casey Moores, Capt. Luke Deckard, 1st Lt. Jedadiah Koval, Master Sgt. Brian Smith, Master Sgt. Don Fannin, Staff Sgt. Tim Sammis and Senior Airman Neil Hampton. The medical crew for the mission was: Cdr. Carolyn Rice, Capt. Geoff Anderson, Chief Petty Officer Adrian Robinson and Tech. Sgt. Daniel Tyson.