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Aviation Medicine

Annual Report of the Surgeon General United States Army Fiscal Year 1961

AVIATION MEDICINE

Army Aviation Medical Officers

During the reporting period, the same satisfactory increase in the number of medical officers participating in the program, as was reported last year, has continued to be apparent. During fiscal year 1961, the number of aviation medical officers on active duty increased from 59 to 69; of this number, 22 were designated flight surgeons, in accordance with Changes No. 7 of AR 611-103. Additionally, one Army flight surgeon was certified in aviation medicine by the American Board of Preventive Medicine, and the number of career aviation medical officers increased from 15 to 18. This latter increase is believed to be the direct result of the advanced training program.

Of the 69 aviation medical officers on active duty as of 30 June 1961, 39 were assigned to medical installations, major tactical units, and special aviation activities within CONUS; 14 were in U.S. Army, Europe; 7 in U.S. Army Forces, Far East; and 1 each with the U.S. Army in Alaska, in the Caribbean, in the Pacific, and the Southern European Task Force. Additionally, one officer was assigned to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and one to the Federal Aviation Agency. The remaining three officers were in the advanced training program.

Aviation Medicine Training

Applicatory training in Army aviation continued to be given by the Army Aviation School, Fort Rucker, Ala. The course, Army Aviation Medicine, was lengthened to 3 weeks, thus allowing the student to receive 1 week of flight instruction in various types of Army aircraft.

It was felt that a firsthand knowledge of the problems of flight in Army aircraft would be of great value to the aviation medical officer in the practice of his specialty. Orientation in Army medicine and in aviation medicine, however, continues to be given at the Medical Field Service School. Additionally, 24 Army medical officers completed a 9-week primary course in aviation medicine given by the U.S. Air Force, and a total of 7 other Army medical officers were graduated


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from the 22-week aviation medicine course given by the U.S. Navy School of Aviation Medicine at Pensacola, Fla.

During the period, three Army flight surgeons completed the first year of a 3-year aviation medicine residency, and as they proceeded to their second year of training, two others were selected to enter the program during the first quarter of fiscal year 1962.

Medical Service Corps Aviators

In addition to the usual helicopter flight training, 10 MSC aviators were trained in fixed-wing aircraft. Other MSC aviators attended courses in aircraft maintenance, in aviation staff officer techniques, and in helicopter instrument training. Attendance at AMEDS school courses and at courses of instruction at civilian institutions was also available to MSC aviators.

Six MSC officers were qualified as helicopter pilots during the period, bringing to 143 the total of MSC Army aviators on active duty, against a requirement of 158.

Medical Helicopter Ambulance Units Cited

The American Helicopter Society chose the 57th and 56th Medical Detachments (Helicopter Ambulance) as the recipients of the William J. Krossler Award for 1960. This award is presented to the most outstanding helicopter unit each year and was given, in 1960, for the superior performance of the cited units under adverse conditions during the Chilean disaster.

Aircraft

The medical detachments at Fort George G. Meade, the platoon at Fort Bragg, and the Brooke Army Medical Center table of distribution detachment are all equipped with U-1A helicopters. The detachments in Europe are equipped with H-19s, and those in Korea are beginning to receive HU-1As and should be completely equipped by the end of calendar year 1961.