Leadership: Return To Sender, Please


November 21, 2007: For the last two years, the U.S. Air Force, at the request of the army, has been using its MH-60 (a special version of the UH-60) search and rescue helicopters for medical evacuation (medevac) missions in Afghanistan. There are a lot more of these, than the search and rescue of downed aviators, that the air force crews were trained for. But the air force pitched in, and now wants out. The medevac operations are wearing out the MH-60s (and there are delays in developing a replacement design). Moreover, the medevac work is quite different from what the MH-60s and their crews normally do. Thus the air force personnel are not able to practice their regular jobs, what with all the medevac missions they are flying.

This is a touchy subject, but the air force knows that, with the air force choppers available for medevac, the army has more transport helicopters available for other tasks, like moving supplies and troops about the battlefield. This irks many in the air force, who do not like to see air force specific capabilities diminished. The air force will probably lose this debate, but there were enough air force officers agitated about the situation to get it at least this far.


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