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Combined UK/US Field Hospital Management Of A Major Incident Arising From A Chinook Helicopter Crash In Afghanistan, 28 Jan 2002
  1. Lt Col D J Vassallo, RAMC, Consultant General Surgeon1,
  2. Maj T Gerlinger, Orthopaedic Surgeon2,
  3. Capt P Maholtz, CRNA, Anaesthetist3,
  4. Maj B Burlingame, General Surgeon Commander4 and
  5. Col A F I Shepherd, L/RAMC, Consultant General Surgeon5
  1. 134 Field Hospital Troop, OP FINGAL. 33 Field Hospital, Gosport, Hants, PO12 2AB. DJVassallo{at}
  2. 2274th Forward Surgical Team, (based at Fort Bragg, North Carolina 28310, USA).
  3. 3274th Forward Surgical Team.
  4. 4274th Forward Surgical Team.
  5. 534 Field Hospital Troop.


On Monday, 28 January 2002, a US Army Chinook helicopter crashed on landing in Afghanistan. Sixteen casualties were airlifted from the scene for treatment at the US Army 274th Forward Surgical Team and the British 34 Field Hospital Troop at Bagram airfield before aeromedical evacuation out of Afghanistan. This was the largest mass casualty incident to be dealt with in a combined fashion by the British and American medical services in Afghanistan during the initial months of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. It illustrated how multinational surgical teams can successfully manage such incidents by following common and agreed protocols. The lessons learned are relevant to any combined operations in the near future.

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