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‘Resolute’ PSD team provides aid, evacuates Afghan casualty

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The morning of March 18 started out like any other day for the 7th Sustainment Brigade personnel security detachment team. Get to the trucks by 7 a.m., draw weapons and conduct a convoy brief. The convoy commander, Sgt. 1st Class Michael Griffin, accounts for all personnel riding that day and gives the order to move out.

The day’s mission was to travel from Kandahar Airfield to the Chaman gate, on the border of Pakistan. The brigade intelligence team and force protection team conducted a reconnaissance of the gate while the security detachment waited.

The convoy of mine resistant ambush protected vehicles and their Soldiers drove on the roads for nearly six hours without incident.

The "Resolute" warriors continued to drive north to their next inspection point when they came upon a car accident. An Afghan national rolled his dump truck, hitting an Afghan family. As the team approached, Griffin told the convoy medic, Spc. Gordon Welch, to get ready.

The mission changed in that moment and the team sprang into action. The truck commanders all dismounted from their vehicles, the drivers staged the MRAPs around the wreck and the gunners provided 360 degree security. Welch declared two of the casualties dead on sight, but one was still breathing.

The medic provided live saving first aid before calling for a litter to move the casualty to one of the vehicles for transportation. The vehicle drivers sped toward KAF, Welch rendering aid and checking the casualty’s vitals. Gunners hung on and provided security as the vehicles traversed the treacherous roads that lead to the hospital.

“This is exactly why I joined the Army and why I enjoy the PSD mission,” said Welch. “I am glad that I got a chance to help someone and I will be happy to do it in the future.”

The MRAP pulled directly into the hospital entrance, a port much smaller than the vehicle. The vehicles crew leapt out of the vehicle, removed the casualty and transferred them over to the hospitals care.

“This incident proves just how fast a mission can change from a reconnaissance to a casualty evacuation,” said Griffin. “The whole team did very well and Welch did an outstanding job as our medic. In the future, we will continue to provide all the help we can when we can.”

Article by Staff Sgt. Alexander Burnett, 7th Sustainment Brigade