U.S. Soldier’s death sparks debate over arming medevacs.

Members of the 76th ERQS were responsible for conducting combat…

Members of the 76th ERQS were responsible for conducting combat search and rescue as well as personnel recovery missions in Afghanistan. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Adrian Cadiz/Released)

It took a medevac unit 59 minutes to get U.S. Army Spec. Chazray Clark to a hospital in southern Afghanistan after receiving a call that a roadside bombing severed three of his limbs. Clark did not survive.

But the rescue aircraft was unarmed, as are all Army medevacs. And the pre-dawn pickup zone in the Zhari district of Kandahar province was considered “hot,” or dangerous, meaning the medevac could not swoop in for the pickup until another chopper with firepower arrived to provide cover.

In Clark’s case, the military says there was a delay in determining whether any armed escort helicopters already in the air could be diverted to the scene. It’s unclear how long that lasted and whether it made a difference. Army officials said they could not disclose the time Clark died because of a policy not to reveal medical information about casualties.

“I feel like they should be armed. They’re in war. Why aren’t they armed? These young men and women are risking their lives,” the soldier’s mother, Keyko Davis-Clark, said by telephone from her home in Romulus, Michigan.

Read the rest of the Associated Press article at The Washington Post.

Load Comments
  • Jman

    your kidding right? There are really rules to war/combat? Hey I know we have laid the rules and everyone else would like to follow but really? If bad people want to shoot down a chopper, then Done! what do they care about the geneva convention, Kill everyone that is on their land is what they think….. Come on really.. ARM EVERYONE IN THESE NEW WARS. No! A soildier does not have to die if all percautions are taken, No! We do not have to obey all rules because it is right. The enemy is trying to kill everybody no matter what symbol you hide behind. There are no more rules get it!!! NO CODE…. Times have changed and we need to protect all our soldiers no matter what… Soldiers are dying for our freedoms, they are dying to allow me to wright this. Arm Them All!!!!

  • Matt in Oklahoma

    It’s a tough call. Jeff is correct and sometimes Soldiers die. I fully believe that everyone was doing what they could without jepordizing the entire mission. Doesnt do any good to send them in if they cant leave. May God be with them and their families during this time

  • Jeff

    Any medical ambulance, helicopter, or personel are protected under the Geneva convention. They may carry weapons for defense but the use of such weapons in an offensive capacity, as it would have been in this case is a clear violation of the Geneva convention. The result is that they’d lose their non-combatant status.

    While our current enemy might not care, im the future we might not want anyone shooting at the helicopters marked with a big red cross. And we certainly don’t want to see medics singled out for hiding behind an ideological shield while shooting.