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Medicine in Uniform
December 22/29, 1999

On the Eastern Front

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JAMA. 1999;282(24):2292. doi:10.1001/jama.282.24.2292-JMU91003-2-1

As the year draws to its close, US military medicine apparently has not been and perhaps will not be needed in direct support of United Nations peacekeepers who landed in East Timor 3 months ago. With the US military already involved in peacekeeping in the Balkans, southwest Asia, and elsewhere, the US Department of Defense has kept the door open to aid in East Timor as needed, but has committed limited resources to date.

The US Air Force (USAF) is preparing its aeromedical evacuation resources for whatever the future may hold. The four Air Mobility Command, 17 USAF Reserve, and 10 Air National aeromedical evacuation units eventually will be assigned to the 10 USAF Aerospace Expeditionary Forces being developed for rapid response to situations anywhere in the world deemed to require a US military presence. Among other goals, this aeromedical evacuation reengineering initiative, called Phoenix Forge, has an objective of providing military medical personnel awaiting an airlifted patient with regular updates of his or her condition, imaging studies, and other changes while the plane is en route.