Evacuating injured soldiers from the mountains of Afghanistan is often a task too difficult for a Humvee and too dangerous for a helicopter, which is why the Army’s debuting this M-ATV-based mine-proof ambulance for the campaign.
Using the Oshkosh M-ATV as a base, the Afghanistan ambulance is somewhat similar to the MRAPs used in Iraq, but smaller and outfitted for the terrain in rockier Afghanistan with a tougher suspension designed to add speed and mobility.
Each one can carry two patients on litters and several walking wounded. It also takes with it the latest field kits for dealing with injury, respiratory issues, bleeding, hypothermia and broken bones. The kit bags hang from inside the ambulance and can be quickly removed to treat patients outside the vehicle.
The most interesting new feature is an oxygen concentrator that turns ambient air into medical-grade oxygen, thus removing the need to carry heavy tanks of air that might explode and turn into projectiles if hit.
Eventually, every M-ATV in Afghanistan will have an option kit soldiers can use to convert their vehicle into a medevac unit on short notice.