The use MEDEVAC in the U.S. Army has been in place since the Korean War, it was used to transport soldiers when wounded on the battlefields back to the CASHs and MASH units for immediate care. The pilots, medics, crewmembers, nurses and flight surgeons that have flown and been assigned within these units are very proud of their service. The demanding schedules, fast reaction times and service these crews experience create a tight knit unit. Through the modernization (that the army started pushing in 2005) to realign aviation assets in Combat Aviation Brigades (CABs) has caused a substantial loss of historical identification for these units.
The MEDEVAC branch falls under the Army Medical Detachment (AMEDD) the officers assigned within the medical detachment are a part of the Medical Service Corp; this includes the commissioned officer pilots. There has been a lot of internal conflict and struggle as to the management of an Aviation detachment within the medical command. The army wanted to draw these aviation assets back under that aviation branch for many years and with Army Modernization that was finally made possible. With the realignment of aviation companies the army has been able to transform the classic design and operations to make modern combat and mission requirements more readily available under the roof of one brigade level command.
MEDEVACs had been operating under the roof of a medical brigade which encompassed several medical battalions, one of the battalions would have been a medical evacuation battalion, and within each medical evacuation battalion were four companies; three air ambulance companies and a ground ambulance company. Classically these four companies would have been all stationed independently away from the major command onto their own airfield or shared airfield. All of the units that are within the battalion and brigades are steeped with their own rich history more often than not originally starting within the Second World War.
I was stationed within the 30th Medical Brigade, 421st Medical Battalion, 236th Medical Company (Air Ambulance); our station was Landstuhl Army Heliport, which indirectly fell under the shared command on Landstuhl Regional Medical Center (LRMC). This medical installation is well known throughout the Army. LRMC purpose is to provide the next level of care for those soldier and troops injured while deployed down range. As the closest medical heliport in proximity to both LRMC and Ramstein Airbase, we provided quick evacuation flight support and ferrying services from the Airbase to LRMC.
The history of the 421st Medical Evacuation Battalion unfolded on 1 October 1933, the 421st was constituted into the regular army as company C. When the unit was officially activated 15 July 1942 they were designated as a medical collecting company; which essentially means that aid stations, MASH & CASH units routed injured soldiers thru the 421st on to further medical treatment. The unit...