Large-scale combat operations may be a relatively new term in U.S. Army doctrine but it is an old concept that has consistently produced large numbers of casualties throughout history. During the Battle of Trebia in 218BC where the Roman army engaged Carthaginian forces, the Romans sustained between 15,000 and 20,000 casualties in just one day. During WWI, the British Army sustained 57,470 casualties on the first day of the Battle of the Somme. There were19,240 fatalities which left 38,230 soldiers in need of medical and casualty evacuation (CASEVAC). These battles may seem as ancient history, but in WWII, the Battle of the Bulge generated 470 Army casualties per day with 62,489 wounded in over 41 days of combat.
While CASEVAC is separate from medical evacuation and is not a medical responsibility, it supports the Army Health System by providing a means to augment the finite medical evacuation capacity. Casualty evacuation is often the mechanism where casualties enter the Army Health System. In future large-scale combat operations, CASEVAC will be a necessity due to the lethality of the modern multi-domain environment that can generate high numbers of casualties and quickly exceed the capacity of ground and aeromedical evacuation ambulances.
Previously, our Army CASEVAC doctrine provided tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) for conducting CASEVAC but lacked discussion for CASEVAC planning and training. A new chapter was added to address these aspects and discuss planned and unplanned CASEVAC as well as the levels of CASEVAC support. Considerations previously considered to be implied were given more discussion throughout the publication to reinforce basic techniques at a tactical level. Casualty evacuation platforms have been updated to include Army watercraft as well as considerations for buses and trains. A new chapter has also been added to provide CASEVAC TTPs for rough terrain. Finally, a CASEVAC checklist is included as a planning tool to help organize actions and requirements.
The ATP 4-02.13 was officially signed and approved by James C. McConville, the United States Army Chief of Staff, on 30 June 2021. The publication is located on APD site at https://armypubs.army.mil/epubs/DR_pubs/DR_a/ARN32888-ATP_4-02.13-000-WEB-1.pdf. For questions about ATP 4-02.13 or AHS doctrine in general, email email@example.com.