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Lawmaker seeks report on medevac flights

“In a continuing battle between a key lawmaker and the Army over whether to use armed or unarmed medical evacuation helicopters in combat zones, the House Armed Services Committee voted Wednesday to require detailed comparisons of survival rates, speed and costs of the two methods.

“Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., is the chief sponsor of legislation demanding a report from the Defense Department that looks at medical evacuation capabilities of all of the services and allies in combat zones. The data will be used, specifically, for Akin’s challenge to the Army’s policy of using unarmed helicopters that in some cases have to wait for armed escorts to enter hot zones.

“By voice vote and with no debate, the armed services committee approved an Akin amendment that orders the Defense Department to provide Congress details that can be evaluated by the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress. The DoD report and GAO review would come in time for consideration as part of the 2014 defense budget.”

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Michael Yon

Michael Yon is America's most experienced combat correspondent. He has traveled or worked in 82 countries, including various wars and conflicts.

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