By Sgt. Michael ParnellNovember 23, 2018
FORT BLISS, Texas -- The Senior Military Advisor for the International Committee of the Red Cross, Martin Lacourt, sat down with members of 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) command team and exercise participants, to discuss the importance of humanitarian assistance in kinetic operations for Warfighter 19-02, Nov. 12.
Warfighter 19-02, is a computer-simulated scenario based war game that integrates troops from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Fort Stewart, Georgia, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, Fort Hood, Texas, and Fort Bliss, Texas.
Conventional and Special operation forces worked together against an adversary who demonstrates aggression toward the U.S., or one of its allies. The ICRC's participation in the exercise helps to promote special operations integration and interoperability, which is critical to success on the battlefield.
Founded during the Battle of Soferino, Lacourt explained how the ICRC was created "when those wounded in action were left to die on the battlefield without care."
Since their establishment in 1859, their sole objective is to ensure protection and assistance for victims of armed conflict, no matter which side the victim's country is on.
One of the many capabilities the ICRC brings to Warfighter (and real conflict) is the ability to provide medical care in hostile environments. This is by any means necessary, even if it means negotiating terms with insurgents or even warlords, they do not hesitate. They act to save lives.
For example, during the Battle of Mogadishu, Somali forces shot down two Black Hawk helicopters. Somalis took hostage of Chief Warrant officer 5 Michael Durant, a pilot. After 11 days of hostage negotiations, Suzanne Hofstetter, an ICRC delegate, risked her life to negotiate the terms that would in the end free Durant from his capturers.
This is just one of many examples of how critical ICRC supports is in saving lives during times of distress and crisis.
The ICRC and special operations are very similar in nature since both organizations understand the operational environment, said Lacourt. When the time comes for ICRC and the military to come together for real-world conflict, they'll be ready, because the relationship is already built from years at war, and working together during events like this.