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A soldier gets seriously hurt in some lonely corner of Afghanistan or Iraq. There's no medic around for miles and miles. And the area is so hot that any medical helicopter flying over it has a good chance of getting shot.
What to do? Army researchers have an idea: fire off a missile, loaded with medical supplies, at the wounded G.I.
Built by the Aviation and Missile Command in Huntsville, Alabama, the 20 lb., 8-inch-wide, 32-inch-long Quick-MEDS projectile would be packed on an unmanned plane. The drone would linger over the battlefield. And if a soldier got seriously hurt, the flying robot would shoot the medical missile in his direction. It'd be packed with blood, bandages, an oxygen generator, burn packs, critical-care supplies, vaccines and bio-chem antitodes.
"The idea is to avoid losing rescue teams flying into heavily defended areas," Aviation Week notes. An Army researcher began working on Quick-MEDS after he "read an account of an Air Force medic, Senior Airman Jason Cunningham, who bled to death after tending others for 7 hours. He was a member of a relief force that was shot down searching for a missing Navy SEAL and was isolated until the fighting subsided."
Those days are dead and gone, no one would dare surround a US base these days.