Monday, April 19, 2010

PLN 24

In the article “Military Adjusts to Icelandic Volcano’s Ashfall” By Jim Garamone, what matters is ash from an Icelandic volcano continues to wreak havoc with air flights across Europe, including American military flights. Thousands of commercial and military flights from Ireland to the Ukraine have been cancelled as the Eyjafjallajokull volcano, which started erupting last week, continues to spew ash. The American military is making adjustments. The U.S. bases in Mildenhall and Lakenheath, England, and Ramstein and Spangdahlem air bases in Germany have been affected by the ash plume. There are no flight ops due to the mandatory declaration and suspension of flights from EuroControl. EuroControl is the equivalent of the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration. It is hard to believe that the ash cloud has reached Ukraine from Iceland. This has affected much of Europe and the northern United States of America. Flights transporting ill and wounded soldiers that would normally head to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany are being rerouted. Joint Base Balad in Iraq has become the new hub for military aeromedical evacuations, with the first patients arriving April 17 at the Air Force Theater Hospital. The new medevac route runs from Bagram, Afghanistan, to Balad, Iraq, to a refueling stop at Rota and finally to Joint Base Andrews-Naval Air Facility Washington in Maryland. Taking the wounded along the southern rim of Europe takes about eight hours longer than flying through Germany or England, but all aeromedical evacuation needs are being met. Aerial refueling will be employed if clinical needs of the patient require it, but it has not been needed yet. This has hurt many nations and is causing many nations to struggle.

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