Technology on the Battlefield
In Iraq for less than 72 hours, I found myself on a convoy heading down Route Pluto with my 3d Infantry Division counterpart. We were conducting our left-seat/right-seat ride and getting a first-hand look at the lay of the land. Suddenly, without any warning, a humvee (High-Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle, or HMMWV) one of my brigade command sergeants major was riding in was hit by a roadside bomb. I was three vehicles behind him, and I was a first-hand witness as our Soldiers, using their training and technology, responded immediately and provided aid to those riding in the devastated vehicle.
As I approached the humvee, I didn’t think there was any way anyone had lived through the blast. Unfortunately, we lost the gunner, but the others were all alive. The command sergeant major (CSM) suffered shrapnel wounds to his right leg and left eye. His eye protection saved his eye, and his protective gear saved the rest of his body from serious injury. Soldiers sprang into action and saved his leg by using the new Bandage Kit from the Individual First Aid Kit to stop the flow of blood. Because of the new command and control systems, Quick Response Forces were immediately dispatched and a Medevac helicopter was waiting on the ground to whisk him to a medical treatment facility before we even made it back to the forward operating base. Our Soldiers’ professionalism, training, technology and prompt response saved his life.