Flashcards in JP 4-02 HEALTH SERVICE SUPPORT CH 3 Deck (13)
Special operations forces (SOF) are specially organized, trained, and
equipped forces of the Army, Navy, and
Air Force that conduct the following operations: unconventional warfare,
strategic reconnaissance, direct action, foreign internal defense, counterterrorism,
civil affairs, and psychological operations.
The nature of special operations requires
that units be small, highly skilled, self-contained teams that can be easily
inserted and extracted by air, sea, and land
Medical support of
special operations units is characterized by an austere structure and a limited
number of medical personnel with
enhanced medical skills.
To meet the operational requirements of SOF infiltration and exfiltration, characteristics of larger
medical elements of Echelons II, III, and
IV cannot be applied or incorporated.
Provision of medical support
beyond this area of influence or capability
depends on the thoroughness of advanced
planning so that the conventional medical
support structure umbrella is extended to cover lack of capability or meet requirements for additional medical assets
(i.e., medical evacuation).
SOF based in-theater are under the combatant command (command authority)
of the geographic combatant commander.
To provide the necessary unity of command, each geographic combatant commander has established a subordinate unified
command to serve as the functional special operations component.
The Navy component consists of regionally oriented sea-air-land (SEAL)
teams, as well as special boat units, and SEAL delivery vehicle teams.
The special operations command (SOC) is the level
at which medical planning is coordinated
in sufficient detail to support special operations with conventional medical
packages to augment the lack of SOF organic medical capability.
SOF enlisted personnel receive enhanced
medical training that exceeds the level and
scope of that training afforded their
conventional medical counterparts.
Special Forces teams and Ranger companies are capable of providing Echelon I care.
Army Special Operations
Aviation units have flight surgeons but do not provide Echelon I capability.
operations battalions have no organic medical assets for medical care to their unit and are dependent on area medical support from conventional forces
Navy SOF HSS assets are organic to the SEAL teams and provide Echelon I care.
Conventional Navy and Marine units with organic Echelon II capability can provide medical support to the SEAL teams.
SEAL teams deploy with basic loads of medical supplies and can be resupplied.
Air Force Special Operations Forces (AFSOF) have Echelon I and limited Echelon II capability.
Special tactics pararescue
specialists perform advanced battlefield trauma care and emergency medical treatment (Echelon I and limited Echelon II) care.
The goal of special operations medical support planning is twofold:
first, provide integrated, augmented conventional support into the concept of the special operating mission without
compromising the objectives.
The second goal of special ops med support planning is to articulate the unique aspects of the operation that will complicate the delivery of medical care, evacuation, PM support,
dental, combat stress, or veterinary support
by conventional units.
Medical support must be
planned and coordinated with subordinate
joint force elements by the theater JFS staff.
The integration of medical support from the
conventional side extended to the full range
of missions conducted by SOF must be synchronized with the tactical plan prior to
Some programs or missions are compartmented, and the need for operational security requires restricted access for planning purposes. The medical planner must establish an exchange of only sufficient
information to provide medical support for the plan.
There is often a requirement to safeguard the patient’s identity, which might compromise the unit’s presence or jeopardize the mission. SOF missions are often politically sensitive.
Conventional Army, Navy, or Air
Force medical elements have incompatible hardware and software telecommunications equipment that differs from SOF telecommunications