The 912th forward surgical team in Operation New Dawn: employment of the forward surgical team during troop withdrawal under combat conditions

Mil Med. 2012 Nov;177(11):1267-71. doi: 10.7205/milmed-d-12-00137.


The Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq witnessed the first widespread use of U.S. Army Forward Surgical Teams (FSTs). Although doctrinally designed to support maneuver brigades in a linear front conflict, FSTs were quickly adapted to fulfill area support and special operation support missions as part of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. FST's were also split to cover a greater area in both theaters. We now report further adaptation of the split FST role to meet the unique requirements encountered during the final phase of Operation New Dawn. Maintaining resuscitative surgical capabilities for U.S. Forces withdrawing under combat conditions required changes in techniques, tactics, and procedures. We describe our experience within three different scenarios in which elements of an FST were successfully employed and discuss operational planning considerations.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Afghan Campaign 2001-
  • General Surgery / organization & administration*
  • Hospitals, Military*
  • Hospitals, Packaged / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Iraq War, 2003-2011
  • Military Medicine / organization & administration*
  • Military Personnel*
  • Operating Rooms / organization & administration*
  • Protective Clothing
  • United States
  • Wounds, Gunshot / surgery*