JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas – Retired Colonel Ben Knisely was the distinguished guest speaker at the Medical Capability Development Integration Directorate, MED CDID, 2023 Medical Ground and Air Evacuation Limited Objective Experiment held at Joint Base San Antonio – Fort Sam Houston, Texas on February 16, 2023. At the event Knisley provided insight on medical planning for large scale combat operations and the importance of medical logistics and evacuation.
During a tour of duty in Vietnam, then First Lieutenant Ben Knisely, while piloting a UH-1 MEDEVAC helicopter, was shot down in the Ashaw Valley over enemy territory and was severely wounded. He and his crew were listed as missing in action in April 1968 and were subsequently rescued in a highly publicized and very daring mission executed by the 101st Airborne Division. Knisely then went on to serve on the special staff of General H. Norman Schwarzkopf during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm as a medical planner.
MED CDID hosted the experiment at the Fort Sam Houston ROC Drill Facility. This event continued the campaign of learning and persistent experimentation to enable maneuver commanders to maximize return to duty, optimize clearing the battlefield, and overcoming contested logistics. “Evacuating the Army of 2030” was the theme and included briefs and discussions to synchronize understanding among both ground and air evacuation communities and other stakeholders on modernization efforts, implications of peer/near-peer threats, current gaps and challenges, medical modernization strategy and the medical concept, and the status of the Army Medical Evacuation System. During the event the 160+ on-site participants and 170+ virtual attendees, were presented vignettes designed to engage discussion with stakeholders to identify learning demands for the upcoming MEDEVAC simulation experiment in July 2023. The objectives of the event were to create a clear understanding of medical evacuation requirements across all platforms, identify and analyze gaps throughout the evacuation system, conceptualize methods for efficient use of evacuation assets to rapidly clear the battlefield, anticipate and develop concepts for medical evacuation based on peer/near-peer threats and to maximize patient survivability with modernizing equipment and increasing knowledge base.
To learn more about the Medical Capability Development Integration Directorate visit https://medcoe.army.mil/cdid