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Posts Tagged ‘"Air Force"’

Flight Nurse Provides Care in the Air

Posted by Larry Barnes on April 17, 2009

by Senior Airman Erik Cardenas
455th Air Expeditionary Wing

While troops on the ground are risking their lives fighting terrorism, Capt. Susan McCormick feels it’s her mission to provide the best emergency care to wounded troops so they can return to the fight or return to their families back home.

“I couldn’t picture myself doing anything but this, giving someone the chance to survive when they risk their lives everyday for us,” said the captain who is assigned to the 455th Expeditionary Aeromedical Evacuation Flight at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan.

Capt. Susan McCormick gives medicine to Airman 1st Class Brent Noah March 26 during an aeromedical evacuation flight to Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. Airman Noah, assigned to the 376th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at Manas Air Base, Kyrgyzstan, dislocated his hip and was being flown to Bagram Airfield for treatment. Captain McCormick is a flight nurse with the 455th Expeditionary Aeromedical Evacuation Flight at Bagram. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Erik Cardenas)

Capt. Susan McCormick gives medicine to Airman 1st Class Brent Noah March 26 during an aeromedical evacuation flight to Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. Airman Noah, assigned to the 376th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at Manas Air Base, Kyrgyzstan, dislocated his hip and was being flown to Bagram Airfield for treatment. Captain McCormick is a flight nurse with the 455th Expeditionary Aeromedical Evacuation Flight at Bagram. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Erik Cardenas)

The 33-year-old captain enlisted as a reserve medical technician in the aeromedical evacuation career field in 1994. As a technical sergeant in 2003, she received her commission to become a licensed flight nurse.

With two deployments under her belt and the third one here, her six years as a nurse in the operating and emergency rooms at St. Vincent’s Hospital, Worcester, Mass., are coming full circle. She is deployed from the 439th Aeromedical Evacuation Flight at Westover Air Reserve Base, Mass.

“Each deployment has helped me better myself and my training,” said Captain McCormick. “The skills we use in flight need to be practiced daily. My experience in the OR and ER, has helped me become a better nurse.”

Members of the 455th EAEF are on call 24-hours-per-day, seven-day-per-week, covering Afghanistan and Kyrgyzstan. The unit has three types of missions: an alpha alert with a one-hour response time for critically injured patients; bravo alert, with a two-hour response time, for patients who do not need immediate evacuation; and a scheduled flight twice a week for patients who need care or treatment that cannot be provided at their deployed location.

Each alert, depending on the situation, requires a different number of personnel. On an alpha alert there is a three-person crew, consisting of one nurse and two medical technicians. This allows the team to quickly respond and get airborne. A bravo alert crew has either a three- or five-person medical crew depending on the number of patients and their acuity. On a scheduled flight, there is a five-person crew on board, with two nurses and three medical technicians.

Before each mission, Captain McCormick has to physically prepare by arranging equipment and configuring the aircraft for the medical mission. She also mentally prepares by visualizing what the patient’s condition is and how it could progress during the flight. She relies on the report given by the ground medical team at a forward operating base, or FOB, and the training she received at flight school regarding the stresses of flight and how they could affect the patient’s condition at altitude.

“I try to think about the worst, but really we have no idea what the patient will look like when (he or she arrives),” said Captain McCormick. “With all the years I have been doing this, nothing can really prepare you to see a child who has devastating blast injuries.”

In flight, patient conditions are subject to change. The altitude, cabin pressure and weather are concerns of the crew. The crew’s assessment skills are diminished by the lack of light and a noisy environment.

Sometimes at an FOB, the medical staff’s limited access to medical equipment leads to the patient not being diagnosed accurately or completely, she said.

“My crew had one patient who was status post-IED explosion and was stable until they took off,” said Captain McCormick. “At altitude, the patient’s oxygen level decreased drastically and with the diagnoses given to (them) by (the people at) the FOB, they didn’t understand what was happening with the patient. They treated the condition and kept the patient stable until he was re-evaluated at Bagram and diagnosed with a hemo-pneumo thorax that wasn’t found at the FOB. ”

The captain has treated 40 patients in the three months she has been deployed here. As each day gets warmer, Captain McCormick expects to treat more patients as insurgent activity traditionally rises during the spring and summer. But the seasoned nurse said she’s more than ready to go when she gets the call.

“I’ll fly anywhere on any plane in order to evacuate our men and women who are sick or injured and make sure they get the care they need,” she said.

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Bush: 8 Years in 8 Minutes. Olbermann 1/19/09

Posted by Larry Barnes on January 21, 2009

http://www.truthout.org/011… Friday 16 Janu…

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UBERHACK, eight minutes of BDS and lies.

Tripe and lies couched as news. Mindless drivel passing as substance, worse than reducing substance to a sound bite. It is sound bites compiled to simulate substance. I am ashamed that i allowed my self to be lured in by the biggest lie, it was over eight minutes.

The word is petty UBERHACK, it’s in the dictionary. Look it up.

Posted in Afghanistan, Bush, Comedy, Detainees, Gaza, GITMO, Hamas, Harry Reid, Iraq, Israel, Joint Chiefs Of Staff, Obama, Palistine, Pelosi, Pentagon, Sons OF Iraq, Stupid People, United Nations, US Forces | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Sons of Iraq’ Graduation Demonstrates Reconciliation

Posted by Larry Barnes on January 18, 2009

By Ray McNulty
Special to American Forces Press Service

BAGHDAD, Jan. 15, 2009 – Nearly 900 former members of the “Sons of Iraq” civilian security group officially joined the ranks of the Iraqi police at a graduation ceremony here yesterday.

Former “Sons of Iraq” civilian security group members demonstrate tactical movements that they will incorporate in their duties as police officers as part of their graduation ceremony at Al Furat Iraqi Police Training Center in Baghdad, Jan. 14, 2009.

Numbering 894 men and three women, they are the second class drawn from former Sons of Iraq members to graduate from the month-long police academy course at the Al Furat Police Training Center. Last month’s graduating class of 1,031 included 19 female police officers.

“These two graduations are tangible proof that the government of Iraq has kept its promise,” Maj. Gen. Khadim of the provincial directorate of police for Baghdad, said through an interpreter. “It offered Iraqi police jobs and training to former Sons of Iraq in recognition of their service. We will continue to extend a salute of respect and partnership to those who wish to serve with us.”

Registration has begun for the next class of police candidates, who will begin training before the end of January. Early indications point to another history-making class, which is expected to include nearly 500 female recruits, officials said.

“This transition of Sons of Iraq into the Iraqi police is a visible sign of reconciliation,” Army Col. Byron Freeman, commander of 8th Military Police Brigade, said. “Every graduation like today’s is a clear sign of progress. This effectively heals sectarian conflict with a sought-after job.”

Since Oct. 1, the Sons of Iraq program, previously administered by coalition forces, has been the responsibility of the Iraqi government. At that time, the Sons of Iraq rolls numbered nearly 100,000 throughout the country.

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GITMO Part Four; Defense Officials Address Detainee Concerns

Posted by Larry Barnes on January 17, 2009

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Jan. 23, 2009 – As the Defense Department prepares plans to close the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, defense officials acknowledge the possibility that released detainees could return to the battlefield.

“It’s something that we’re cognizant of. It’s obviously something that we try to assess at the time of transfer when we are looking at these individuals,” Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman told Pentagon reporters today.

President Barack Obama yesterday signed an executive order that directs the closure of the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo within a year.

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The detention center has housed nearly 800 suspected terrorists captured in Afghanistan, Iraq and other places since the start of the global war on terrorism that followed the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States. About 250 detainees are being held at Guantanamo, including Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, the alleged mastermind of the 9/11 attacks.

Of the more than 500 detainees who have been transferred from Defense Department custody, 18 allegedly have resumed terrorist activities and another 43 former detainees are suspected of having resumed their former lives, Whitman said.

Whitman addressed a query from a reporter citing news reports that a former Guantanamo detainee had apparently become an associate leader for al-Qaida in Yemen.

Guantanamo inmates’ cases are reviewed annually, Whitman said, to ascertain whether or not they qualify for release. However, he said, there’s no guarantee released individuals won’t return to terrorism.

“You can’t have absolute certainly,” Whitman acknowledged.

Speaking to Pentagon reporters, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates yesterday acknowledged there are challenges inherent with shuttering the center.

“Clearly, the challenge that faces us, and that I’ve acknowledged before, is figuring out how do we close Guantanamo and at the same time safeguard the security of the American people,” he said.

There “are answers to those questions,” Gates said, noting there is “a lot of work to do.”

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GITMO Part Three

Posted by Larry Barnes on January 17, 2009

    Guantanamo Pair Defiant In Court

Correspondents said the pre-trial hearing was chaotic at times, as two of the men accused of plotting the 9/11 attacks on the US made unrepentant court appearances at pre-trial hearings at Guantanamo Bay.

Ramzi Binalshibh said he was proud of the attacks while Khalid Sheikh Mohammed said he did not fear death and was working “for the cause of God”. These two were among five men appearing at a chaotic hearing at the naval base.

US President-elect Barack Obama is expected to issue an order to close the camp within days of taking office. The day’s hearings were intended to determine whether Mr Binalshibh was mentally competent to represent himself. He and his co-defendants have all said they do not want to be represented by US military lawyers.

“We did what we did and we are proud of this. We are proud of 9/11,” Mr Binalshibh told the courtroom in Arabic as guards removed his shackles.

Earlier Mr Mohammed, who claims to have been tortured while in the camp and is the alleged mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, had requested the dismissal of all US lawyers on his bench.

“The people who tortured me received their salaries from the American government and the lawyers do too,” he said.

He later told the court he and his co-defendants were not afraid of receiving the death penalty because they were “doing jihad for the cause of God”.

When warned by the judge to stop interrupting the proceedings, he told them: ”This is terrorism, not court, you don’t give us an opportunity to talk.”

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Both defence and prosecution lawyers had asked the military judges to delay proceedings until after Mr Obama’s inauguration, but their request was refused.

The Pentagon last month withdrew and refiled charges in about 20 cases, saying this was merely a procedural step. This has added to the air of uncertainty surrounding the trials, correspondents say.

A Canadian national, Omar Khadr, faces a separate hearing, accused of killing a US soldier in Afghanistan. His lawyers are also arguing for certain statements to be suppressed, saying they were obtained through torture and coercion.

The US military says these were the result of “conversational and non-coercive interviews”.

Mr Khadr, who was 15 years old at the time, is accused of throwing a grenade that killed a US soldier in Afghanistan in 2002. Mr Khadr’s trial is scheduled to begin on 26 January but his lawyer, Navy Lt Cdr Bill Kuebler, says he believes it is unlikely that the military tribunals will go ahead once Mr Obama is in office. “It is simply unimaginable to think that these proceedings would continue when you have an administration that is on the record saying that so clearly,” he said. “What’s very clear… is that they want to take a different course of action on Guantanamo.”

Barack Obama pictured on 12 December during a meeting with Mexican President Felipe Calderon
Mr Obama has said he knows closing the camp will be challenging. Last week, senior advisers confirmed that Mr Obama would issue an executive order within days of entering the White House to close the detention center.

But shutting Guantanamo, where some 245 inmates remain, will not be immediate and Mr Obama himself has signaled that it will be a challenge.

His choice for attorney-general, Eric Holder, told his Senate confirmation hearing that he considered the interrogation technique of water boarding to be torture.

The CIA has admitted using the technique on at least three terrorism suspects, including Mr Mohammed.

The Bush administration set up the Guantanamo Bay camp in 2002 to hold foreign terror suspects captured during the war against the Taleban and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan.

The camp once held some 750 inmates, believed to be mostly foreigners detained in Afghanistan on suspicion of being Islamist fighters.

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GITMO Part Two

Posted by Larry Barnes on January 17, 2009

A judge has suspended for 120 days the Guantanamo Bay trials of five men accused over the 9/11 attacks, as requested by US President Barack Obama.

Among the five is alleged mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who had opposed the suspension saying he wanted to confess to his role in the attacks.

The new administration also circulated a draft order to close the Guantanamo Bay prison within a year. Mr Obama had earlier asked for a four-month halt to all tribunals there. The request was one of his first acts as president.

Before the military judge’s ruling in the 9/11 case, four men including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed said they opposed halting the trials. Lawyers for a fifth man supported the proposed suspension.

Earlier a judge in a separate case – that of Omar Khadr, a Canadian man accused of killing an American soldier in Afghanistan in 2002 – suspended that trial. Lt Cmdr William Kuebler, a lawyer for Omar Khadr, said the practical effect of the ruling was “to pronounce this system dead”.

“There will certainly be no more military commissions in Guantanamo Bay,” he said.

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The Obama administration is circulating a draft executive order calling for the closure of the detention centre.

“The detention facilities at Guantanamo for individuals covered by this order shall be closed as soon as practicable, and no later than one year from the date of this order,” the draft read.

It calls for a review of all pending cases, and provides for some prisoners to be released and others to be transferred. It is not known when Mr Obama will issue the order. Mr Obama has repeatedly promised to close the camp, where some 250 inmates accused of having links to terrorism remain and 21 cases are pending.

In his inaugural address on Tuesday, he emphasized the idea of respect for justice and the rights of the individual, rejecting “as false the choice between our safety and our ideals”.

A two-page document issued late the same day and ordered jointly by Mr Obama and the US Department of Defense, sought a 120-day suspension of trials. The delay would “permit the newly inaugurated president and his administration time to review the military commission process”, the document said.

The legal process has been widely criticised because the US military acts as jailer, judge and jury, the BBC’s Jonathan Beale reports from Guantanamo. Closing Guantanamo Bay will not be easy. Questions remain over where those charged will be tried and where those freed can be safely sent.

Our correspondent reports that the written ruling to suspend the 9/11 cases brought anger and frustration among representatives from five families of victims of the attacks, with one accusing Mr Obama of political posturing.

But there was a sense of relief among defense lawyers, who had criticized the cases as “show trials”.

Michele Cercone, a spokesman for the EU Justice and Home Affairs Commission, said the Commission was “very pleased that one of the first actions of Mr Obama has been to turn the page on this sad episode of Guantanamo”.

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Women In The Military Part Four

Posted by Larry Barnes on January 13, 2009

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Women In The Military Part Three

Posted by Larry Barnes on January 13, 2009

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Women In The Military Part Two

Posted by Larry Barnes on January 13, 2009

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Women In The Military Part One

Posted by Larry Barnes on January 13, 2009

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