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April 14, 1993

Air Drop Bundles Average 9:1 Food to Medicine

JAMA. 1993;269(14):1775. doi:10.1001/jama.1993.03500140023006

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AIR DROPS over what was Yugoslavia this winter and spring are averaging one medical bundle for every nine food bundles.

Provided by the US Army in Europe, the medical bundles include "sick call kits" with 31 items from aspirin and antibiotics to dressings, bandages, and blankets, to military trauma field kits with 58 items ranging from dressings and bandages to tracheostomy kits and splints. There also are medical items donated by other nations.

The Office of the Command Surgeon (Charles H. Roadman II, MD, a brigadier general [JAMA. 1992;268:1389], is command surgeon), Air Mobility Command, Scott Air Force Base, Ill, in consultation with (US) European command officials, notes that the air drops are being made from 3000 m (10000 ft) or higher at night to avoid small-arms fire and shoulder-launched missiles from the ground. Eighteen C-130 "Hercules" turboprop cargo planes make the 5-hour flight from Rhein-Main Air Base at Frankfurt-am-Main,