We’ve had the luxury of air superiority so we could evacuate our casualties at will,” West told WATM at a recent meeting with defense reporters in Washington, D.C. “We’re trying to make sure that in an environment where it’s not as permissive — where we’re going to have to retain casualties longer — we have the ability to do this prolonged care.”The US Army is acting as if its a foregone conclusion that the US will NOT have air superiority in the next war. That makes me wonder how the Marine Corps can push the idea of Company Landing Teams ... does the Army have information that the Marine Corps doesn't?
West added that in Afghanistan, for example, there were cases where patients were flown out of the combat zone and back to Bethesda Naval Medical Center and on the operating table within 24 hours. But in future wars, that capability might not exist.
In the wars since 9/11, the Army has benefitted from American air dominance which allowed slow-moving, poorly-armed medical evacuation helicopters to speed to the battle and pick up wounded in a matter of minutes. That’s led to a 93 percent survival rate for wounded soldiers, a 75 percent increase since the Vietnam war.
But the Army is worried that wars in the near future won’t allow a speedy MEDEVAC, so its medics will have to deal with situations like potential limb loss from tourniquets staying on longer than usual to fluid pooling in the brain or organs, West said. That doesn’t mean that all of the sudden 68Ws have to be trained as vascular surgeons, but they do have to be able to get detailed information that’ll help keep their patients alive.
This isn't the first article where the Army is talking about the lack of air superiority in future fights. Add ground based electronic warfare units of threat nations to the mix and you have a scenario of our ground forces fighting without air or artillery support. If the Army is right then we're not gonna get beat in the next war...We're gonna get smashed.
Even worse? If West is right then we're going to see old skool casualty rates. The days of the horribly wounded but still living American fighting man might be replaced with increased deaths. Not from the initial wound but from losing the golden hour.