Thursday, August 20, 2009

Do Americans Care About British Soldiers?

19 August 2009

Greetings from Afghanistan,

There is every indication that this war will become worse than I saw in Iraq.  Very dangerous here.  Too much happening to explain quickly.  Will require ongoing series of dozens of dispatches.  (Am on it.)  Would need 24/7 head-cam to truly capture this.  

Meanwhile, please see this very interesting dispatch: Do Americans Care about British Soldiers?


Your Writer,

Michael Yon

PS Please sign up for my updates at "Michael_Yon" (not Michael Yon).

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Michael Yon

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Do Americans Care about British Soldiers?

19 August 2009

Helmand Province, Afghanistan

A gunshot ripped through the darkness and a young British soldier fell dying on FOB Jackson.  I was just nearby talking on the satellite phone and saw the commotion.  The soldier was taken to the medical tent and a helicopter lifted him to the excellent trauma center at Camp Bastion.  That he made it to Camp Bastion alive dramatically improved his chances.  But his life teetered and was in danger of slipping away.  Making matters worse, the British medical system back in the United Kingdom did not possess the specialized gear needed to save his life.  Americans had the right gear in Germany, and so the British soldier was put into the American system.

British officers in his unit, 2 Rifles, wanted to track their man every step of the way, and to ensure that his family was informed and supported in this time of high stress.  Yet having their soldier suddenly in the American system caused a temporary glitch in communications with folks in Germany.  The British leadership in Sangin could have worked through the glitch within some hours, but that would have been hours wasted, and they wanted to know the status of their soldier now.  So a British officer in Sangin – thinking creatively –asked if I knew any shortcuts to open communications.  The right people were only an email away: Soldiers Angels.  And so within about two minutes, these fingers typed an email with this subject heading: CALLING ALL ANGELS.

Soldiers’ Angels Shelle Michaels and MaryAnn Phillips moved into action.  Day by day British officers mentioned how Soldiers Angels were proving to be incredibly helpful.  The soldiers expressed deep and sincere appreciation.  Yet again, the Angels arrived during a time of need.

The severely wounded soldier, whose name I will not print without explicit permission, is recovering in the United Kingdom.

Two or three weeks after the injury, I was having dinner with a British Major and several Captains.  The Major talked reverently about Soldiers Angels, and then about a herculean effort that the United States military extended to save a single British soldier.  I had no idea about that effort.  I just heard the gunshot, saw the soldier carried away into the night, and heard the helicopter roar into the darkness.  I knew Soldiers’ Angels had intervened back in Germany, but the details that followed came as incredible surprise.  The U.S. military had quietly moved Heaven and Earth to save a single British “Squaddie.”

Please read the following description, authored in part by Soldiers’ Angel MaryAnn Phillips:

The Needs of the One...

In late July, a British Soldier deployed in Afghanistan sustained life-threatening wounds to the abdomen and chest. I alluded to him in this post, but his identity has not yet been made public.

The article quoted below describes the extraordinary (and to my knowledge unprecedented) efforts made to save his life. It is a testimony to the advancements made in the technological, logistical, and medical fields. But most of all, it is a testimony to the commitment of the many to care for the needs of the one.

Here is a summary of the medical, logistic, and air assets involved in this incredibly complex mission. It is almost certainly incomplete.

Air Force Aeromedical Evacuation Teams Give British Soldier Fighting Chance - (Source: US Air Force; issued August 4, 2009)


- One C-17 aircraft to get the medical team and equipment from Germany in place at the hospital in Afghanistan.

- One C-130 aircraft to fly a pulmonologist from a different hospital in Afghanistan to the Soldiers’ location.

- A second C-17 aircraft to fly the patient from Afghanistan to Ramstein Air Base in Germany.

- LifeBird German civilian medevac helicopter to fly the patient from Ramstein Air Base to Regensburg University hospital.


- Three C-17 aircrews; four sorties

- LifeBird helicopter aircrew

Medical Teams:

- British, Danish, US surgical team at the hospital in Afghanistan.

- A pulmonologist from a different hospital in Afghanistan flown to the facility where this Soldier was located.

- The Landstuhl Acute Lung Rescue Team (Specialized Critical Care Air Transport)

- The LifeBird medevac team in Germany

- The thoracic surgical and ICU teams at Regensburg University hospital in Germany, for the highly specialized treatment developed and available there.

Logistics Teams:

Combined Air and Space Operations Center (SW Asia)

- Joint Patient Movement Requirements Center (within the CAOC above, SW Asia)

Global Patient Movements Requirement Center (Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, USA)

618th Tanker Airlift Control Center (Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, USA)

- Landstuhl DWMMC (Deployed Warrior Medical Management Center)

A surgeon at work in an Afghanistan field hospital. At this hospital there is a general team of five surgeons, working with another three orthopaedic surgeons. With anaesthetists, emergency doctors and junior doctors, there could be 20 staff working on a single patient. Photo: Marco Di Lauro/Getty Images.

A surgeon at work in an Afghanistan field hospital. At this hospital there is a general team of five surgeons, working with another three orthopaedic surgeons. With anaesthetists, emergency doctors and junior doctors, there could be 20 staff working on a single patient. Photo: Marco Di Lauro/Getty Images.

Air Force aeromedical evacuation teams give British soldier fighting chance

by Capt. Justin Brockhoff

618th Tanker Airlift Control Center Public Affairs

8/4/2009 - SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. (AFNS) -- Three Air Force aircraft along with multiple aircrew, aeromedical evacuation teams, and agencies from around the world gave a British soldier a fighting chance at life in late July after the soldier sustained multiple gunshot wounds and had his blood supply replaced more than 10 times at a military hospital in Afghanistan.

According to officials, the soldier sustained multiple wounds to the abdomen and chest, and was transfused with 75 units of blood and another 75 units of platelets.

Emergency surgery was conducted to repair the Soldiers’ liver and lung. After being stabilized by the medical teams on the ground, the patient's respiratory condition worsened and doctors determined that the patient had to be moved to upgraded care in Germany.

The Combined Air and Space Operations Center, staffed by U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and Coalition partners. Built at a cost of $60 million, the project created the most advanced operations center in history. It includes thousands of computers, dozens of servers, racks of video equipment and display screens, over 67 miles of high-capacity and fiber optic cable, and hundreds of people, working in satellite communications, imagery analysis, network design, computer programming, radio systems, systems administration and many other fields.

The Combined Air and Space Operations Center, staffed by U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and Coalition partners. Built at a cost of $60 million, the project created the most advanced operations center in history. It includes thousands of computers, dozens of servers, racks of video equipment and display screens, over 67 miles of high-capacity and fiber optic cable, and hundreds of people, working in satellite communications, imagery analysis, network design, computer programming, radio systems, systems administration and many other fields.

Officials at the Combined Air and Space Operations Center and Joint Patient Movement Requirements Center at an air base in Southwest Asia, and the Global Patient Movements Requirement Center and 618th Tanker Airlift Control Center at Scott Air Force Base, Ill., immediately started working to find the aircraft, aircrews and medical crews to airlift the soldier to further care.

"We received the call on our operations floor to airlift the British soldier from Afghanistan to Germany and immediately did what we could to make it happen," said Col. John Martins, the 618th TACC director of operations who led coordination efforts for the mission. "It was a complex move. Not only did we have to find a plane and crew to fly the patient out of theater, but also we had to find another plane and aircrew to get the right medical personnel and equipment into Afghanistan because we needed specialized medical teams to care for the patient in-flight."

In less than six hours, a C-17 Globemaster III previously scheduled to fly a cargo mission was airborne with the required medical personnel and equipment from Ramstein Air Base, Germany, to Afghanistan.

"We were able to quickly identify a mission that was planned to fly into Afghanistan, and after coordinating with other agencies in the 618th TACC we were able to re-task the mission as an aeromedical evacuation flight," said Maj. Kris Rowe, an aeromedical flight manager. "At the same time, we needed a pulmonologist to be part of the AE team due to the trauma to the Soldiers’ lungs. Working with our counterparts at the CAOC, we were able to get the pulmonologist from a different location in Afghanistan to the Soldiers’ location on a pre-scheduled C-130 (Hercules) mission."

The pulmonologist arrived to the Soldiers’ location and continued to care for him on the ground, while the C-17 carrying the medical teams and specialized lung equipment were still en-route on the eight-hour flight from Germany.

Because of crew duty day restrictions, safety regulations that dictate how long an aircrew can be on-duty before they're required to rest, the original C-17 aircrew couldn't stay the six hours it would take the lung team to prepare the soldier on the ground, and still fly the mission back to Germany. Instead, once they arrived, the C-17 and its crew were able to wait on the ground for just over an hour while nine other patients, in addition to two amputees previously picked up during a fuel stop, were on-loaded for a flight to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, near Ramstein AB.

Once they had dropped off the medical crews and equipment to stabilize the British soldier, and its 11 new patients were prepped for flight, the first C-17 took off back for Germany. Its mission was complete.

A C-17 Globemaster III, like the one pictured here, aeromedically evacuated a British soldier in late July from Afghanistan to Ramstein Air Base, Germany. Before the soldier could be evacuated, an additional C-17 and a C-130 Hercules were needed to airlift specialized medical teams and equipment into place. U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Clay Lancaster.

A C-17 Globemaster III, like the one pictured here, aeromedically evacuated a British soldier in late July from Afghanistan to Ramstein Air Base, Germany. Before the soldier could be evacuated, an additional C-17 and a C-130 Hercules were needed to airlift specialized medical teams and equipment into place. U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Clay Lancaster.

Enter the second C-17 and aircrew, assigned to the 385th Air Expeditionary Group, who were also previously scheduled to fly a cargo mission in Afghanistan. Officials at the 618th TACC delivered a similar notification that they'd been re-tasked to be involved in the lifesaving effort.

"The patient was loaded on the second C-17 and airborne within 22 hours of receiving the call for support at the 618th TACC," said Master Sgt. Keyser Voigt, an aeromedical evacuation mission controller at the 618th TACC. 

"When you look at the requirements we had, its awe inspiring to see how many people will come together to save one life. It took two airplanes to get the medical team and equipment in place, another to fly the patient to Germany, three aircrews, four sorties, AE personnel and many more coordinating on the ground to get this done. Including the fact that we had to fly in specialized teams and equipment from eight-plus hours away and it took a minimum of six hours on the ground to prepare the patient using that specialized equipment, everyone involved did absolutely everything we could to give this soldier the care he deserves."

At approximately 1 p.m. local time Aug. 2, the British soldier landed safely at Ramstein AB and was flown to further medical care at a university hospital by helicopter.

"It's a true testament to the aircrews, the medical crews, and the ground personnel around the world and at the airfield that we could get this soldier out of Afghanistan so fast," said Lt. Col. Duncan Smith, the 618th TACC's Aeromedical Evacuation Division chief. "It is truly amazing to see this coordination take place in such a short amount of time, because we're literally coordinating these moves from a world away. We are in the business of saving lives, and we will do everything we can to reach that goal."

As of press time, the soldier was still at the university hospital in Germany, where he was listed in critical condition.

This movement marked the 8,563 patient movement by U.S. Air Force aeromedical evacuation teams in 2009, and the 135,233 since April 1, 2003.

(emphasis added)

As of today, almost 10 days after this story was written, the Soldier remains in Germany where his condition is stable. He may be able to fly home to the UK soon.

The doctors say it's a miracle.

I'd say it's probably close to a thousand miracles: A miracle for each of the many who came together to meet the needs of the one...


MaryAnn Phillips

Vice President, Warrior Medical Support Europe

Soldiers' Angels main web site:

Soldiers' Angels Germany blog:


*** New shipping address ***


Attn: Soldiers' Angels

CMR 402

APO AE 09180

*** New shipping address ***


Post Script from Michael Yon:

Soldiers’ Angel MaryAnn Phillips emailed to me:

“I thought you might be interested in this. Incredibly, [British Soldier] is actually beginning to do quite well. He has regained consciousness and may be able to be transported to the UK within the next week.

While at Regensburg hospital with his mom […] right after she arrived here, I told her about some of this. She broke down and couldn't believe "all of those people would do all that for my son". It was a very, very moving moment.

Take care of yourself, Michael.


I cannot operate in the war without your support.  If support does not substantially increase, I will be forced to abandon war reporting in September.  There has seldom been much interest in the Afghanistan war.   True interest has been starkly reflected in the support for this mission.   Each journey into Afghanistan, since 2006, has bled out resources from my operations.  Reporting from Afghanistan is not sustainable at this rate.

Nevertheless, I continue to crack on: Please consider signing up for free Twitter updates at Michael_Yon (not Michael Yon without the underscore), for the most timely snippets possible.

You can help support this mission through paypal, all major credit cards, or e-check.



Fantastic. Truly inspiring.

Lee August 18, 2009

Do Americans Care About British Soldiers

Extremely moving Michael. I'm glad to hear this soldier is recovering and making progress. God bless everyone who supports our troops in harms way, and in this case, our fine allies sons and daughters as well. Please give my best to the wonderful Brits you have been embedded with. Finer allies no country has ever had.

CarlAugust 18, 2009

The Value of Life

I can still hear the engine and rotors winding up and the sound of the blades beating the air as the Medivac crew sprung into action anytime and anywhere. They were there for one reason - to save our a life. It takes courage, training and commitment and a crew that can function as one. 

Time is everything and someone's life hangs in the balance. The professionalism of all is beyond compare. 

I have the greatest respect and appreciation for the effort that the United Kingdom has committed in support of the War On Terror (not a politically correct term these days). Their young men and women are fighting the good fight and falling just as are Americans and others. The United States Military has one of the most comprehensive and efficient Emergency Medical System in the world today. It is seamless. As a former DustOff Pilot I know that every man and woman involved in that system executes a level of personal commitment and professionalism to every patient that passes through their doosr. The use of the helicopter for evac began in Korea, was greatly enhanced during Vietnam and has continued to excel to where it is today. 

May God Bless and Protect each and every man and woman on the battlefield today - British, Canadian and American and all others alike. We are all brothers and sisters in the fight against evil at home and in far away places. I thank each and everyone of you for your sacrifice and the sacrifice of your family. We shall never be able to repay the debt we all owe to your heroism. 


DustOff 18

FTAugust 18, 2009

Heaven and Earth

A combination to save a life. Angels and those on the ground. 

I served in the USAF in the UK. Michael, please let the Brits know that the answer to your question is: Yes, with the hearts of true Brothers.

WayneAugust 18, 2009


Its as simple as that. They, and the other members of the Commonwealth are our closest allies in this fight. All too often British, Canadian, Austrailian, and the Kiwis have been at the brunt of many of attacks in southeast Asia and abroad. They know just as we do the magnitude of the fight and the consequences it has. Working with them in Iraq and Afghanistan is a honor that I will never forget and will always cherish. Stay safe down there Mr. Yon, its only getting better.

Kudzu August 18, 2009


The Brave stand and move to help in any way; Whats Left just complains and stands in the way. Wonderful story of a fine example of our troops. God bless all that stand

Ken August 18, 2009

You Bet We Care!

This is one of those examples of the "can do" spirit that our military still operates under, while the public has to be goaded along like wandering cats. I don't know one person involved, British or American, expect Mike, but reading this is inspiring. We still have it. So do the Brits. Simply awesome. Please convey my thoughts to the Brits. The Troubles are over, and we've joined in a common cause, as it should be. Good allies are hard to find.

casstx August 19, 2009

Do Americans care for the Brits?

YES. I certainly have nothing but respect. They are heroes to us and all free people around the world. I would risk life and limb for them just the same as my buddies when I was in the service. I love them with all my heart.

theFightingSeabee August 19, 2009

We Do Care

Thanks for a good story Michael, and happy to hear that the soldier is doing well.

howarde12 August 19, 2009

Holy Souls

Michael: Ever vigilant, ever watchful, we are always praying for your safety. Reading tonight, and found something that seemed very relevent given the miraculous journey of this British soldier...."Every holy soul is itself a heaven, in a sense --a heaven with understanding for its sun, faith for its moon, and virtues for its stars, a heaven where God dwells, according to His faithful promise." ......Bernard de Clairvaux ......He is indeed in every one of us, and in you, and we are grateful for your witness to events, and times, and places, and holy souls....all. Peace......Lovin' you, Barb xo

BMK August 19, 2009

Another important story

great set of news clips, etc. Hope the Brits get word of this as well. Also, the comments from many fine people regarding this article are another source of pride for me as a yank. Please share it with your embedding buddies. 

Just wanted to mention that the C-17 is one of the finest planes that Douglas ever made, almost on par with the DC-3. Allowing that company to fold into Boeing was a mistake and actually a detriment to what was an important part of the US economy. Anyway, every article I see about the C-17 just confirms my notion that we made a big mistake in stopping production of that beast! 

Stay safe Michael and keep those guys apprised of our support.

Mad Dog August 19, 2009

Words cannot convey the thanks that are due

To Michael, all the US armed forces and the people of America. What was done here to save one of our soldiers cannot be summed up in mere words. We owd a debt that cannot be paid, thank you so much from a grateful Englishman. 

Michael, it is a privilege to support your mission. Thank you for all you do, in the meantime keep your head down.

BarryAugust 19, 2009


I really appreciate your reports. You show the humanity that is often lacking from the news reports on tv and in other media. Your work is a link to the great photo journalists of days gone by and sets the standard for those to come. Take care.

Chalkstorm August 19, 2009

Full Circle

Dear Mike, 

A couple of years back we contacted Soldiers Angles in America because our own son was serving in the British Army in Iraq and then Afghanistan and said how generous the US Soldiers were. We thought about how American mums and dads must have been going through the same things we were and so we wanted to make a friendly touch. SA sent us the name and address of a US Marine who turned out to be a source of fun and joy. At the end of his tour he sent us a video of his time in Iraq which we treasure. 

When we first tried to send our US Marine in Iraq a parcel we had a helluva struggle with the German post office who wouldn't deliver it to Ramstein then the British Post Office who couldn't connect with APO numbers. Then we had a cunning plan - we pretended that our US Marine was a British soldier attached to an American unit. Ahah! Suddenly the post office found how to get a parcel through and though it cost us an arm and a leg we got a cheerful E mail one day to say it had arrived. Perhaps we'll have to go to jail for lying to the post office and the fact that we kept on lying? All this just reflects the poor communications we same to have even though we are fighting the same war. Do we ever learn? 

Gismo Fly August 19, 2009


I can't add anything that hasn't been added previous. I grieve the losses the Brits are taking, as though they were Americans. God Bless the 2nd Rifles!

PeterAugust 19, 2009

Rear Admiral US Navy. US Defense Attache to the United Kingdom

Michael: God bless you for reporting this inpsiring story. The naysayers love to point out the shortcomings of British and American troops. I wish just once they would report a story like this one. Stay safe Michael. We need you as much as we need our great British Allies. General Petraeus calls you "the real deal". I agree.

Ronald HAugust 19, 2009


As a British soldier, can I say how humbled I am to see the effort expended to save the life of one of our soldiers. Thank you will never be enough.

Paul August 19, 2009

Americans care for a lot of people around the world!

One of them is you, Michael. May you always have the best of everything available to you and your fellow 'brothers' at the front. 

Thank you! 

With love from America.

Smile August 19, 2009


We are so very proud and honored to stand with you, Britain! And with all of the other countries who have joined the fight against oppression in Afghanistan and around the world. We appreciate your commitment and your sacrifices, and we value your friendship more than words can say. God bless you all.

MaryAnn August 19, 2009


I'm a proud Brit, ex Army, and have to admit I have sometimes wondered how much the US really valued our friendship & cared about our troops. Reading this today, I got the answer, and it is truly the best one possible. From the bottom of my heart THANK YOU! Inadequate words but the best I have. Whatever our respective politicians might do or say, you can be sure of one thing. The friendship of the UK with the USA is a strong as that with our cousins in Canada, New Zealand & Australia, and will endure as long as life itself. Thank you& God bless both our Countries 

Les August 19, 2009

The Special Partnership

As a serving British Officer in HM Forces, I am so very grateful for all that you do for the serving forces for both of our nations on active duty. Long may our special partnership remain. Thank you and God Bless.

andy August 19, 2009

Stronger Together

A common language binds the US and the Commonwealth together, your report though shows that what really binds us together is much deeper than just a language and words, and in fact breaks the language barrier to include Estonians, Danes and others. Thank you as a Brit for your efforts in supporting this one life, and I hope our boy recovers and rejoins his family. Though often press reports speak of disputes about operational approaches among allies, I know from feedback from those on the ground that we have never worked so closely and so effectively together and our boys on the ground appreciate and respect the support of their US allies.

a father August 19, 2009


Thank you Michael. Mary Ann is a very special Angel. Though sometimes it seems so little, we at Soldiers Angels are always on watch!!

AZ Angel August 19, 2009


This just shows the difference between the US & Britain and the enemy we are fighting. We value life and will move heaven and earth (as long as it can be done in a C-17) to save one life. May God continue to bless and protect all our men and women in uniform who are willing to sacrifice their lives for just one life.

JaneAugust 19, 2009


After reading the Brit soldier's story my wife said, "Why does Mike keep going back there?" 

My answer....."same reason the mission priests kept returning to indian country." 



DonAugust 19, 2009


"A true friend is the one who stands by you when it may be easier, or smarter, not to..." Seems that describes the Brits pretty well. 

An aside to readers currently involved in the Air Force - a few years ago there was some discussion about developing a supersonic business-class (Gulfstream V?) jet. One would think that a transcontinental air ambulance would be an excellent application for such.

Timhogs August 19, 2009

Retired Fire Figther (Former US Marine)


I had the privledge and honor of working with the Brittish in Norther Iraq after the first Gulf War. There is not a finer bunch of men. They took care fo us, got us food and had a great sence of humor. After the attacks of September 11th they were the first ones to stand beside us. They have always been there for us and we will always be there for them. To all the Brittish serving with us Semper Fi! you are our true brothers in arms.

MichaelAugust 19, 2009

An Epic tale with an shamefully small aside hidden within...

This "miracle" took the combined efforts of Human training and Technology to happen. It also noted that the British logistics would of been incapable to actually handle the injury due to its lack of the medical tools in its own country to pull it off. I need to point this out because what's happening in the battlefield now is happening here in the states too. 

Every terrible accident that horrifically hurts and may of utterly ended many lives don't happen because of the medical technology that for the most -if not all- in part came from entrepreneurial Americans developing the skills, equipments, and technology to combat against it. Places like Britain with its socialistic government doesn't have the resources or capability to achieve this. 

Will America trade this type of "miracle" for what is now being promised by our government in the coming future? All this praising aside, our tax dollars made this "miracle" happen and don't ever forget that this is why that event ever happened in the first place.

Forlourned August 19, 2009

We Belong Together

Boundless gratitude to all you wonderful Americans. 

I will tell this story to everyone I can.

IanAugust 19, 2009


Thanks Michael - I needed that boost this morning. It's always helpful to remember we share a heritage with the Greatest Nations on God's Green Earth. 

Praying for all of you in harm's way today. Keep your head down.

SvenAugust 19, 2009


Thank you all for your help in saving a British soldiers life and to the angels who do great work every day God Bless All Our Troops xx

YvonneAugust 19, 2009


It appears that many folks were involved in getting the British soldier medical care. There were so many i couldn't follow it all. No matter what it cost, that soldiers life was worth it all!! My nephew was in Iraq and a British lady corresponded with him and sent him packages and fabulous chocolates, all of which meant alot to him. I believe she conitinued to correspond with him during the 7 mo he spent in a U.S. hospital recuperating from injuries he had received from an IED. 

In my opinion, America has fallen a long ways from where we once were in certain values and standards, but the things I have seen that most Americans still retain and that is that we are still a caring, giving and a helping people. For those traits I am proud of America.

AUNT OF 3 ANG August 19, 2009

Trackbacked / Linked

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 08/19/2009 News and Personal dispatches from the front and the home front.

David M August 19, 2009


This young man and all who took part are in our prayers, as well as all who serve this cause. Each and every dispatch I e-mail to people I know. Your work needs to get out to others. God Bless you. Keep it up, and be safe.

Sara August 19, 2009

Awesome story about coming together for one purpose

Totally awesome story showing that the love for fellow man knows no national limits. I am sure that if the situation were reversed the UK would have done the same for a US soldier.

Duane August 19, 2009


Does anyone else need an explanation of "Partners"? We are proud to have the Brits as "Partners" and we know this feeling is mutual in this fight.

Wally 2w August 19, 2009

Do Americans Care about British Soldiers

Wonderful story. Is there any way to get this on National TV both here and in England. The world needs to know how far we will go to save i man.

Gerald W. August 19, 2009

Short answer, yes

Each and every life of those in the fight is worth saving. I'm happy that the young British soldier is on the road to recovery. I am as proud of the fighting men and women of GB as I am our own troops. I'm also in awe of the effort it took to save one life. This speaks volumes of the dedication of all - not just the Brits and the Yanks, but the entire coalition. This war is necessary. Your readers have not forgotten that Michael. Keep your head down. We need all of Florida's sons! 

Jimmy in Clearwater

Jimmy H August 19, 2009


I have linked to your story on our Soldiers' Angels Washington blog. An amazing story from beginning to end. The incredible will and orchestration of expertise, to make sure each soldier is looked after and family kept in the loop is jaw dropping. Thank God for all who care for our wounded and support those who serve including our very own MaryAnn and Soldiers' Angels in Germany. Awe inspiring on so many levels. Prayers, love and support to all who serve to make this world a better place!

julie, Soldiers' Angel August 19, 2009


Just wow. 

That's incredible. 

Well done all. 

Thanks for sharing this Michael.

1IDVET August 19, 2009

Yes We Care!

Many thanks for this uplifting description detailing the true attitudes of the majority of both America and all others that stand for Freedom encapsulated in "We the People ...". Stay safe, Michael - we need your honest reports of the tremendous job all of our Forces are doing.

PhilMB August 19, 2009

Only freedom.

Only in places with very little restrictions of any kind that allow good will can such enterprises be allowed to exist. This is truly a result of freedom. 

Thank you soldiers angels. 

Don't forget that.

Matthew August 19, 2009

brothers in arms

Thanks, Mike.Great job. We need this stuff desperately over here. My 509'ers are in it and we get very little news right now. Too much going on. Keep your head down

matt h August 19, 2009


Michael, Soldiers Angerls and all, this is the highest vibration of the human condition: people working together to save lives and support one another. Why? Because that is our nature, for the most part. As the Pashtun villagers who risked their lives to harbor and save Marcus Lutrell's life, the Americans , Germans, and Brits who worked together to save this soldier's life remains as the example for us all, striving to be our highest and best, together. Amidst all the brutality of war and all that challenges humanity, we would do well to remember this as we go about our business, making the world a better place. Michael, so many thanks to you for being there to report the facts, and for bringing this story to light, as you always do. When we hear these acts of kindness, using technology to save lives, it reminds us how truly great humans can be and gives us all hope for a better future.

thedametruth August 19, 2009

Amazing testament to goodwill

What an amazing story! Thanks to everyone involved no matter what nation they're serving and a special thanks to you for sharing this with all of us. The answer to the question is a resounding YES! We Americans care very deeply about our British brothers and sisters in arms. God bless them, you and all those that pitched in to save this young lad. This is human conduct of the highest order.

Andre August 19, 2009

YES, we do care. We love them too

Our "cousin's" across the pond have to know we love and care for them deeply. From a tiny island nation a heart of a Lion beats. We mourn for them as we do our own. Godbless the "Angels"...Godspeed to our UK "cousins" as they continue to "crack on" in our mutual fight against pure evil. Thanx M Yon, pls tell them we CARE. We are "Brothers in Arms"...a connection that can NEVER be broken. I will wear my Union Jack headpiece all this week. Iam damn proud to wear it too. God Bless Britain.

Robert August 19, 2009

Yes, Americans love their British brothers

This is a truly amazing story that is a testament to our troops, technology, and medical expertise. The dedication deisplayed by all involved doesn't surprise me, but reassures me that we are still a great and caring people. 

Cheers to all the Brits helping us out in this fight against extremism and oppression. And cheers to the wounded Brit soldier. 

God bless America, God bless the United Kingdom, and God bless all you guys in the field. Thanks, Michael, you be safe too!

spratico August 19, 2009



Some of the nurses and doctors from my unit who are at LARMC in Germany are handling incoming casualties from Iraq and Afghanistan as they arrive by airlift and when they are "on call" for surgeries. Yes, we do care for our allies! Great work as always Michael.

HiramAugust 19, 2009

Hell Yes

Michael, as a medic with the US Army I'd just as soon die for one of my Brit, Irish, Welsh, or Scot brothers in arms to try to save their lives as readily as I would one of our own. They fight the same fight and bleed the same blood. We were there for them in WWII and they're there for us now. God Bless America and God Save the Queen.

Doc August 19, 2009

Many Thanks

Thanks to Michael for this story, and for his coverage of British units in Afghanistan which is far better than any of our own journos can manage. A thousand thanks to all involved in saving the soldier's life, God bless America.

PeterAugust 19, 2009

Do Americans Care

While the US has a very special relationship with Great Britian, we would have done the same for any of our allies - that is just the way we operate at the tactical level - God Bless all who serve for freedom regardless of the uniform they wear!

jona August 19, 2009


Michael, thanks for the report. As a serving British officer who was attached to the American military in Baghdad last year I know how much the US military values us. It was an honour to serve alongside my US brothers in arms and I am grateful for the efforts that went into saving the life of one British soldier. We stand together in adversity and long may this remain.

JB August 19, 2009


I just posted this email to Mary Ann Phillips. I hope many of you will also let her know how we feel about them. They deserve all our thanks..... 

Dear Mary Ann, 

Today happens to be my 64th birthday, and I just finished reading Michael Yon's blog about the efforts of you, Shelle, and many, many more to help the British soldier wounded in Afghanistan. All I can say is what a special birthday present for me, to know that people like y'all (yeah, I'm from Mississippi) exist and that you do what you do. God bless you and Shelle, and all your team at Soldiers Angels. No words can ever express the gratitude of thousands of soldiers and their families, for your special kindness and dedication. You are indeed God's finest Angels. 


Greenwood, MS

JoeAugust 19, 2009

The Landstuhl Acute Lung Rescue Team and the Novalung System

Michael, I hope you don't mind, but I'd like to use a little space to highlight an extraordinary group who were instrumental in this mission but not covered in detail in the AF article. 

The one key piece of specialized equipment needed for this particular patient is called the Novalung, which was developed by the University Clinic at Regensburg, Germany. The device is not yet approved for general civilian use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, nor I believe by similar regulators in the UK. In order to be used on military patients from those countries, permission from the Next of Kin must be obtained. 

Because Landstuhl Regional Army Medical Center is located in Germany, and because of the expertise gained through treatment of thousands of trauma cases over the past several years, a partnership has developed between US Military physicians and the Regensburg hospital. 

The Landstuhl Acute Lung Rescue Team – incorporating the use of the Novalung system – was established in 2005 by husband and wife team U.S. Air Force Col. Warren Dorlac and Lt. Col. Gina Dorlac, former Landstuhl doctors. Col. (Dr.) Dorlac is currently serving in Afghanistan. The current ALRT personnel are doctors, nurses and specialists who work in Landstuhl’s intensive care unit, and are now led by Air Force Lt. Col. (Dr.) Raymond Fang and Air Force Maj. (Dr.) Patrick Allan. 

The team is not needed often, but when they are, they leave Landstuhl at a moment's notice to pick up patients requiring this very special treatment. A mission will last about 24 hours, during which they are constantly monitoring the patient's condition - whether remotely or during the return flight. 

I cannot think of any civilian equivalent. But to these military medical professionals, doing the monumental - the creation of this team and its technologies, and its implementation when required - is simply fulfilling the mission. 

Thank you for making sure their story was told - the story of another kind of "quiet professionals".

MaryAnn August 19, 2009


A small word, but heartily said... Thanks. 

Ex British Army, served alongside US forces for over 2 years at HQ AFCENT way back in the early 90's, was impressed then with the close working relationship we had, so glad to see it hasn't changed.

Frank W August 19, 2009

Thank you

Dear Michael, 

And to all the men and women of the United States Armed forces, and supporting organisations and institutions. 

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for working so very hard to save a british tommie in peril. 

And thank you to the angels. 

Darren August 19, 2009


Awe inspiring Michael!

Adam August 19, 2009


Places like Britain with its socialistic government doesn't have the resources or capability to achieve this. ... 

Absolute rubbish of an ignorant comment. Why do you have to spoil a good post with this spiteful drivel. Read up on the NHS military unit In Birmingham which saved my good mate's LIFE. There were many aspects and people involved in this exceotional case and there is no doubt at all that had this been the reverse the excat same herculean efforts would be made for US troops - as indeed they are with many US casualties going through the unit Michael mentions staffed by the British medical teams and paid for out of British taxes. This equipment is exceptional, as is this case. Exceptional is not unique to America or American healthcare by any means. These are the kind of comments that make me feel the reality is, outside of this exception and some of the comments here, no..Americans don't care. 

John squaddi August 19, 2009



We have, unfortunately, too many ignorant twits such as forlourned who cannot accept this decent, compassionate act for what it is and feel compelled to make it into some worthless political statement.

ScottAugust 19, 2009

Choose to ignore the ignorant


Thank you for sharing this incredible example of humankind working together to save a life. Please ignore the ignorant who would use such an example to belittle a healthcare system they do not understand. Praise for "John squaddi" for pointing out the inaccuracies of the criticism of the UK's technology and expertise to provide quality healthcare - that is NOT the point of telling this story, and it should not be politicized by anyone who has a beef with the healthcare debate. 

Thank you again for your dedication to telling the whole story. 

be well

Mary August 19, 2009

Yes I Care !

This is a true testament to the personal spirit that is held by the United States of America ( put politicians aside ). It is a Moral Standard that Her average God loving Citizens and all Her Soldiers most of all, hold closest to their hearts and try to live by. 

That when all is in chaos around you and an Ally has been struck down, you do not wait for them to raise their hand in need. You grab that hand from the dirt with a conviction of mind and carry them to safety at all costs without regard to your personal sacrifices and well being. Your only goal at that moment in time is to spirit that Ally away from chaos and give them the chance to live again in peace. 

There is no debt to be repaid here. This is simply 'The Right Thing To Do' if you live in a Moral Society. 

If roles were reversed, and they have been in the past many times, an Ally would do the same and expect nothing in return as well. 

I personally have nothing but the Utmost Admiration for my fellow Ally Soldiers in Arms ! God's Speed to this young man and to ALL my fellow Soldiers in Harms way. 

May God also Bless all their families. 

Maintaining the Moral high ground is not easy or cheap, unfortunately. But it has to be Maintained none the less.

Scott E, 19E10 August 19, 2009


I have forwarded this article to my father with thanks.He was a director at Macdonald/Douglas that developed all the computer systems on the C17.Some in the AF referred to the planes as "trash haulers" With this they should now be rechristianed LIFE HAULERS. 

Thanks for your continued reporting.

Steve Haupt August 19, 2009

Interesting twist of history...

It's great to see such sterling teamwork produce a happy outcome. My best wishes to 2 Rifles, Mike and everyone who worked to make it happen. Thank you. 

As an aside, american readers might be intruiged by this little bit of history. The 2 Rifles' ancestor regiment is the Royal American Regiment. A regular unit that was raised in colonial america in 1756. So it's strangely apt that Michael's piece here focuses on one of them.

Jay August 19, 2009


I was a Medic stationed at RAF Lakenheath, UK during the Vietman Era and I worked in teh Emergency Department. Yes, they are trained to do the job that you read about, but they are truly the best. I am so, so proud of being a Veteran of the USAF and a Medic to boot.

Medic August 19, 2009

Damn straight, Americans care

Yet another story from the front, from this generation's Ernie Pyle (with photos to boot!!). 

John squaddi, many of us here in The States (and of course, serving overseas) have long appreciated what England and the Australian, New Zealanders and Canadians mean to freedom across the globe. Since WWI it's been clear, and from what I hear from those serving currently, our mutual respect has never been stronger. 

Just as in England you have those on the far-left who are anti-everything, we too have that faction, as well as a lot of folks ignorant of history and of the current danger to society. 

I don't think the commenter above was belittling England's committment; rather, it was a slap at internal American politics using a misplaced and uninformed argument. 

I'm proud of what ALL of our Troops are doing for our freedom, and the freedom of those who are oppressed by Islamic extremists, extremists who would have us all submit or die.

Uncle Jefe August 19, 2009

brothers in arms

Americans , the most able, generous and gracious soldiers i have ever had the pleasure of serving with,I spent a week on exchange in camp bondsteel , kosovo in 2000 and its a memory i shall cherish

wildhaggis August 19, 2009

Glad to help

A great story Mr. Yon. We, the U.S. of A; are glad to help a wounded British Soldier. We appericiate what these folks bring to the battle. We respect them for their deeds. We honor them for their losses.

Bob August 19, 2009


Mr. Yon, 

Your efforts are commendable. Many Americans admire your courage and determination. Many millions of us are also humbled and grateful for the service, the duty and the courage of all the allied military, no matter their country. Please extend my heartfelt thanks to all the warriors whoput themselves in harms way in order that liberty trumps chaos. 

Please extend my thanks and admiration for all the medical personnel, the doctors, the nurses and every person connected with them who struggle to save and repair our brave warriors. 

Dick Besser

Dick Besser August 19, 2009

God Bless All of You

The title of my post sums up my feelings. May God Bless each and everyone of you.

Richard Zuendt August 19, 2009


With the exception of the unpleasantness circa 1775, and again in 1812 (and, even then, there was gallantry), there isn't a more stalwart ally when you're standing the line than Brits and ANZACs... When one of 'em gets hit, we bleed with 'em. 

Good on all the folks who saved that young lad's life and took care of his kin besides! 

Does America care about a British soldier? I'd say that the proof is in the pudding! 

"And St. David..."

Sgt B August 19, 2009


"These are the kind of comments that make me feel the reality is, outside of this exception and some of the comments here, no..Americans don't care." 

It appears that you took one (politically driven) post and made a generalization about most Americans. I too find these post to be in poor taste, however, have no ability to make them go away. The citizens of our two countries are not so different. I am sure that there are British who would also take a heart warming story like this and twist it for their own political purpose. Should I take their comments as an indicator of the way all British think? I personally would not, but just saying. I tend to put more weight in all of the other commenters, some who have served alongside soldiers from our allies. Please don't minimize what they are saying by focusing on the negative. 

I hope this soldier is able to make a quick recover and return to his family. I am thankful that the technology and enormous teamwork existed to save this soldiers life. It really doesn't really matter to me about who did what. 

To answer Michael's question...without a doubt!!

Annette August 19, 2009

The "Devils Advocate" on this wonderful story


An incredible story which shocked even the British Army to the extent the US was willing to go to to save a British soldier. 

And while I am very glad the USAF did all this without even hesitating because it was not US soldier, it shows a glaring problem with the USAF. It is either the biggest and best and 100% solution in aircraft or nothing. 

Below is a small part from that article: 


- One C-17 aircraft to get the medical team and equipment from Germany in place at the hospital in Afghanistan. 

- One C-130 aircraft to fly a pulmonologist from a different hospital in Afghanistan to the Soldiers’ location. 

- A second C-17 aircraft to fly the patient from Afghanistan to Ramstein Air Base in Germany. 

- LifeBird German civilian medevac helicopter to fly the patient from Ramstein Air Base to Regensburg University hospital. 

The first and third item. In the old days the USN and USAF had converted DC-8 medi-vac aircraft with even a small operating room in it. Now they have to use a C-17 whether it is one man lightly wounded or 15 men in critical condition. There is no in between. The USAF does not want to fund the in between that could do the job (and at higher transit speed most likely) because they want the funds for the C-17 (ie like the trap the USMC is in with the MV-22 tilt rotor now). 

The second item. They used a C-130 to fly one person inside Afghanistan. And probably at a slower speed that a good "large" business turbo prob could have done or even a small turbo prob tactical transport. One USAF who did not want his name used said in Iraq that he thought it was ridiculous to use a C-130 to fly one pallet of supplies that was less than 1/10 the standard load and range of the C-130 But that was the only choice. 

Finally, not to say the USAF did not do the right thing. It would have been right if they used five C-17s and two B-1 bombers. But just because you have over kill does not mean you should not look at alternatives with smaller aircraft. 

Jack E. Hammond 

Jack E. Hammond August 20, 2009

More Rubbish About British


One member claims that the US had to move in to save that one British soldier because the British could not do it because they are socialists and lack that good old capitalist ability. 

As one member stated it is rubbish. The US could do it because it has such a large GDP. And a lot has to do with that large GDP because we have a lot of natural resources (coal, oil, iron ore, etc) and just a much larger nation and population. 

The UK government in fact went against an all European program to develop a large transport aircraft (the A400M) to lease then purchase some US made C-17s at great expense. See the same situation with the tanker contract. Boeing while taking the UK money for the C-17s in a free trade agreement use massive government influence to make sure that the USAF did not purchase a European aircraft (ie which the UK is partner in) to be the next tanker. In America our defense industry is one of the most socialists institutions on the earth. 

And always remember that the UK lost its massive Empire after WW2 due to the massive loss of men it took in WW2 and the refusal to make a deal with Hitler in 1940. If the UK had made a deal with Hitler -- ie instead of holding out alone for a year and a half -- it would not have lost its Empire which created a massive trade and a massive GDP. 

And then after WW2 when most nations were disbanding their military, the British at great expense kept their large navy and army to hold the fort in Europe while the nations that did not come under Stalin's thumb could rebuild under US and UK protection. 

And last, for almost three decades the UK British Royal Navy held the fort down in the Indian Ocean, East of Suez. And that cost a lot of money. 

Jack E. Hammond 

PS> GAWD! I wonder sometimes how the citizens of the UK and Canada put up with us Americans. (For further research look at the percentage of Canadians per population that died in WW1 and WW2.) 

Jack E. Hammond August 20, 2009

Do Americans Care About British Soldiers?

They sure as hell do! Firstly, what an inspiring and moving article - well done for sharing it with us. Not only do our American Allies fight alongside us for the same cause, they care for us back in the U.S. too. My son Andy is serving with 2 Rifles (British Army) in Sangin, Helmand Province. He has just been sent a care package and some gear from an email friend of mine (Douglas Vanderberg) who is the U.S. Navy. I have not even met Douglas in person and nor has my son, yet he is prepared to do this for us. The Americans are the most generous people I have ever encountered. They looked after my son when he was in the Texas and Louisiana last year and he says the same thing too. God bless America - our closest Allies. 

Best regards, 

Michael Florence (ex-Leading Seaman Diver, Royal Navy - That's the British Navy!)

Michael Florence August 20, 2009


Why has this amazing story not reached the wider press, it should do. Thank you.

Joanna August 20, 2009

Worth or not?

Having served in the British Army for 7 years and also having realatives in the American Army I can honsetly say the two countries are all fighting as one. Some people may disagree with the war, that is thier choice. The one they they all should agree with it the fact that injured soliders or the families of those who have not been fortunate to come home alive need everyones support. The should be praised for what they are doing for thier country and not criticised. 

The sheer cost behind this operation to save one soldiers life was it worth it? Only answer to that is yes. He was prepared to die for his country which is the ultimate price so the price to save his life should be greater. We owe it to all our armed forces

Ex army medic August 20, 2009


What a great report i am so grateful to America for this effort my son is detatched to the 2nd Rifles in Sangin Helmand Province and was wounded last night i was releved to hear how good the medics are out the god bless you for this Noel Herbert

Noel Herbert August 20, 2009


Thanks to every single member of the Coalition.

Solo August 20, 2009


Truly amazing story. 

For the people who think this is proof that socialized healthcare doesn't work, I'd say this shows that government and health care DO work together well. A private health insurance company would have seen the multi-million dollar bill for this treatment and told the guy to take a hike. 

You think all those amazing medical devices this soldier needed were created on the free market? Hell no. Most were invented by researchers working with university, NIH or Army money. The actual care was then provided by the federal gov't, not some private health insurer. 

I don't understand why people can't believe the government is capable of amazing things when everyone agrees to work together. The United States Armed Forces is proof of that.

p August 20, 2009


As a Brit i'm sure all the allies out in Afghanistan do amazing things to help each other every day, but this does seem a particularly supreme effort. From reading around this report and the comments above, it would seem that neither the Us nor the UK had the particular equipment or procedural training to treat the wounded soldier, which was only available in Germany (a country, along with France, that some people slag off quite regularly for their contributions to the Afghan war). It was of course the efforts of the USAF that got the soldier to where he could be treated (thanks!) - it makes you think when two C-17s are used (amongst others) - the UK as a whole only has six of these aircraft! 

It's a shame when someone tries to hijack what is, after all, a warming human interest story, to try to make cheap political points about 'socialised' health care (shouldn't a true society have the means to care for everyone in that society?) but I think everyone can see how silly that poster is. 

I just wish the powers-that-be here in the UK would finally admit that we really are at war, and have been for 7+ years (longer than WW2!), and would put the resources the military needs into its hands, whilst at the same time the armed forces (I'm looking at your RAF) would properly plan what they need - why, as someone posts above, don't we have small, fast emergency ambulance planes, why doesn't the UK have proper battle support planes (like A-10 or AC-130) rather than fast jets hastily modified to drop bombs at great cost? or sufficient helicopters to minimise the risk to all the troops? I could go on, but I think you get the picture. 

Finally thanks to Michael for his very informative writing and reports - all we seem to get on the news here is when more troops are killed, so it is nice to read more about what the troops are doing (I'd recommend looking at Ross Kemp's TV series' from Afghanistan, they are a bit simplistic but at least let the soldiers tell their side), so please keep it up. And thanks again to all the allied personal for their efforts in saving this young man's life, I hope he makes a full recovery, and I hope that soon we won't have to read about such things, but I am afraid I doubt that.

elizzar August 20, 2009

Oh, yeah...

Yes, we care. We care about every injured soldier, no matter what nationality. We've got some of the best doctors and medical facilities in the world, and we use them to save lives. What a story. How awe-inspiring to know the WHOLE story though. Thank you, MaryAnn!!

AFSister August 20, 2009


"It's a shame when someone tries to hijack what is, after all, a warming human interest story, to try to make cheap political points about 'socialised' health care (shouldn't a true society have the means to care for everyone in that society?)" 

I agree that this isn't the right place to make cheap political points about health care, but I'm amazed that you then immediately went on to make a cheap political point about health care...

jic August 20, 2009

rep - thanks

"whilst at the same time the armed forces (I'm looking at your RAF) would properly plan what they need" + "or sufficient helicopters to minimise the risk to all the troops?" 

even if we had all the equipment we want in the world there would be a significant other problem. manpower. the RAF has fulfilled of its allotted numbers and still some squadrons are running at 30% manpower. there would need to be a significant increase in the numbers of men, especially techies (one of the reasons the HC3's are still mainly in the hanger, not enough techies to convert them all at once) 

increases in both require the go-ahead and monetary support from the government and this government abandoned the forces long ago. 

"why doesn't the UK have proper battle support planes (like A-10 or AC-130) rather than fast jets hastily modified to drop bombs at great cost?" 

all fast jets in RAF service were able to drop bombs before the conflict. there has been no conversion "at great cost". the tornado GR4 is a fighter bomber, the harrier equally as the US can attest. the typhoon and F-35 coming into service also have significant ground attack capabilities. AAC also use our heavily modified apaches for CAS. 

are you getting confused with the pre-planned upgrade of the GR4 for the new weapons systems (brimstone etc) that are entering service? 

Toxicseagull August 20, 2009

Thank God, yes!

As the father of a soldier preparing to deploy to Iraq soon, I cannot tell you how deeply this touches me. My father shared the stories of his experiences in Europe in WWII, including a stint in the hospital for pneumonia. The increased level of care for today's men and women is fantastic. 

I just hope and pray that the current administrations in the US and England do not cut the budgets for our men and women over there.

Graybeard John August 20, 2009

Thank God, yes!

Don't want this thread to become political. Just facts. There is a proposed increase of 11% for our service men and women, This includes a pay raise and increased services for our veterans in many ways.

Scott Dudley August 20, 2009

rep - thank god yes

thats great for the US. the Brits have proposed cuts of Regular 3 battalions, and rumoured half cuts of the gurhka force. 

the TA (our reservists) despite being heavily deployed in both operations will be suffering cuts of 45% projected. 

this is despite the Army asking for an increase in manpower of roughly another 10,000. 

never mind the navy and airforce reductions in equipment planned :/

toxicseagull August 20, 2009

Grateful in WI

So inspiring....... 

I run out of words to express my gratitude for the job all of our fighting men and women.

Charlie elk August 20, 2009

Proud and thankful for All of the Troops

As mom of a US Marine infantryman, I can absolutely say yes, we do care. Every single one of the troops is appreciated for their service and their sacrifice. Bravery and honor cross all national lines. We salute these servicemen and women. Thank you again, Michael, for reporting the "real" news to us, and please know we are praying for this British soldier's recovery and the safety of them all. 

Best wishes. 

Proud Marine Mom August 20, 2009

a little clarification

sorry if my comments were poorly phrased, i really didn't mean to do so - what i meant was my admiration for the efforts people went to in order to save a single life - something i think we should all support, that's all. i won't say anything more on that. as for the comments on the RAF planes, it could apply across the board to a lot of our equipment - designed and procured for a war that no longer exists. yes tornados, eurofighter etc can drop smart bombs for gorund support - but it's a singularly expensive way to do so compared to a UAV, helicopter or slower turbine plane etc. the tornado is a fast, low-altitude strike bomber designed to penetrate soviet radar - the eurofighter, primarily an air superiority airplane, has had ground attack capability bolted on tranche 1 and 2 releases - only the tranche 3 (of which the UK will effectively buy ~16) has the capability in its design. the f35b (the version we will buy) is still having design issues and will not be in service for 5+ years, and then will have limited ground attack capability compared to an a-10 or apache. 

if we have a limited pot of money to pay for our services, then surely operation 'now' needs should come first - as toxicseagull states british army troop number cuts are being proposed right now (to take our army well below 100,000 men) and the troops fighting are still waiting for more local airlift (chinooks, merlins etc). 

i would finish just by reiterating how proud i am of the british armed forces, and how thankful i am for the friendship of the usa, it just makes me a little angry when i see how poorly our military gets treated by politicians etc. 


elizzar August 20, 2009

True Journalism Editor

Thank you for bringing to light the care our medical teams provide no matter who it is or where they are from. And thank you, too, for keeping us informed about our own allies in this fight. Mainstream is fairly silent on reporting about our allies, unless it is criticism. I'm sick and tired about mainstream media's lack of interest, yet boy oh boy, we'll hear about the latest on Britney or Idol. You are the real deal and I am so appreciative of the information you give us! Stay safe and keep the faith, Michael!

Cathi L. August 20, 2009

As always, this dispatch has been reprinted with permission from the author, Michael Yon.

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