preparation in our hospitals, which gets to, why do
we run military hospitals? We don’t run hospitals
for a peacetime health benefit. Our hospitals are our
training, readiness and surge platforms for the medical force. A big component of that medical force are
hospital corpsmen, and our hospitals are where they
get their clinical experience.
The second reason is forward resuscitative surgery.
We took damage control surgery and moved it into the
battlespace. That is where the concept of the “golden
hour” or, toward the end of the conflict, the “platinum
15 minutes,” from time of injury until time on the OR
[operating room] table was no more than an hour. We
were able to operationalize that. Our corpsmen stabilized those patients and rapidly got them to forward
The third reason is air superiority and rapid aeromedical evacuation back to Kandahar and Camp
Bastion [in Afghanistan] and then Landstuhl [Regional
Medical Center, Germany] and then Walter Reed
[National Military Medical Center, Md.] and beyond.
We also had some pretty significant advantages because it was a ground war. We didn’t have any delay
in casualty recovery. As soon as a casualty was hit, we
were able to fairly quickly get to that casualty, stabilize him and get him out of there. Although the IED
[improvised explosive device] casualties were horrific,
they were never so many in number that we were overwhelmed. We never had to triage because of resource
limitations, only because of clinical conditions.
With the ground wars at a low ebb, is your
readiness focus shifting?
FAISON: We have not had a potential adversary that
has been able to project wide credible sea power since
World War II. If you look at some of our potential
adversaries [now], some of them have incredible sea
power projection capability. What that means is the
next conflict for us could be at sea or a contested landing for the Marine Corps.
We haven’t fought a major sea battle since World
War II, about the same as the last significantly opposed
WWW.SEAPOWERMAGAZINE.ORG 11 SEAPOWER JUNE 2017