Analyzing the future of army aeromedical evacuation units and equipment: a mixed methods, requirements-based approach

Mil Med. 2013 Mar;178(3):321-9. doi: 10.7205/MILMED-D-12-00370.


We utilize a mixed methods approach to provide three new, separate analyses as part of the development of the next aeromedical evacuation (MEDEVAC) platform of the Future of Vertical Lift (FVL) program. The research questions follow: RQ1) What are the optimal capabilities of a FVL MEDEVAC platform given an Afghanistan-like scenario and parameters associated with the treatment/ground evacuation capabilities in that theater?; RQ2) What are the MEDEVAC trade-off considerations associated with different aircraft engines operating under variable conditions?; RQ3) How does the additional weight of weaponizing the current MEDEVAC fleet affect range, coverage radius, and response time? We address RQ1 using discrete-event simulation based partially on qualitative assessments from the field, while RQ2 and RQ3 are based on deterministic analysis. Our results confirm previous findings that travel speeds in excess of 250 knots and ranges in excess of 300 nautical miles are advisable for the FVL platform design, thereby reducing the medical footprint in stability operations. We recommend a specific course of action regarding a potential engine bridging strategy based on deterministic analysis of endurance and altitude, and we suggest that the weaponization of the FVL MEDEVAC aircraft will have an adverse effect on coverage capability.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Afghan Campaign 2001-
  • Air Ambulances / statistics & numerical data*
  • Equipment Design
  • Humans
  • Military Medicine / instrumentation*
  • Military Personnel*
  • Transportation of Patients / methods
  • Transportation of Patients / trends*
  • United States