The US House passed a resolution recognizing USAF aeromedical evacuation personnel and aircrews who help wounded troops “make the expeditious and safe trip home to the United States.” H. Res. 1605 also commends these airmen “for their commitment to the well-being of all our service men and women.” Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.) introduced the measure, which was adopted by members Tuesday by voice vote. The resolution states that aeromedical evacuation flights have transported more than 81,000 patients since 9/11, including almost 14,000 battle-injured soldiers. Wounded troops from Afghanistan or Iraq arrive at hospitals in the US within three days on average—seven days faster than during Operation Desert Storm, and 40 faster than during the Vietnam War. Because of these efforts, wounded personnel now have a 98 percent survival rate, the lowest mortality rate of any war in US history, it notes. (H. Res. 1605 full text)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.