Helicopters continue to play a vital role in military Medevac. UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters have been used extensively throughout Iraq and Afghanistan. Both countries feature harsh desert environments that take their toll on aircraft, and Afghanistan's mountain peaks top out at 18,000 feet, further complicating rescue missions. Air evacuations across such vast and rugged terrain typically extend beyond the so-called "golden hour," the crucial 60-minute window a severely injured person has to reach a hospital before their survival chances plummet. Black Hawks are large enough to accommodate several medical personnel and advanced in-field equipment—trauma care begins the moment the helicopter is in the air, a technique that has saved countless lives.
Task Force Lobos, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division conducts rescue training at Camp Marmal, Afghanistan on 16 July 2011. A para-rescue airman is lowered to the ground via the helicopter’s jungle penetrator aircraft hoist.