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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.

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Members of the 76th ERQS were responsible for conducting combat search and rescue as well…