Controversial debate brewing: Should Army medevacs be armed?

Medevac units fly in thick of battle

November 2008 (By Michael Gisick)

Spc Mitchel Holland, of 4th Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Heavy Combat Brigade, 1st Infantry Division is helped on to a medevac helicopter after being injured just east of Sangasar on June, 15, 2011, in Kandahar province Afghanistan.


By Published: January 26, 2012

A military blogger's report blaming Army policy for the death of a solider has sparked a contentious debate in Congress, Politco reports -- an issue that has military and lawmakers asking: should Army medevacs should be armed?

Politico reports that blogger Michael Yon blamed the September death of Spc. Chazray Clark on the Army's policy that requires medevac helicopters themselves be unarmed, but require armed escorts. Clark had stepped on a bomb, and because of the policy, medics took an hour to get him, Politico reports, citing Yon's blog posts and campaign to change the policy.  

Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., who sits on the House Armed Services Committee, wrote Defense Secretary Leon Panetta last week asking for a review of the Army’s policy of armed medevacs, Politico reports.