Combat & Casualty Care

Q1 2017

Military Magazines in the United States and Canada, Covering Combat and Casualty Care, first responders, rescue and medical products programs and news\Tactical Defense Media

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Page 25 of 35

Deployed Soldiers are constantly loaded down with gear, but nowhere more so than when operating in a cold weather environment. In addition to their conventional weapons, Soldiers need to utilize heavy equipment such as space heaters, cooking stoves, fuel, and heavy duty thermal tents in order to survive in an extreme cold weather environment. In order to effectively conduct dismounted operations in the these environments, a sled is the only practical means of transporting all of this equipment, and it needs to be rugged enough to carry not only the aforementioned items, but even a wounded Soldier across many miles of the world's most dangerous and unforgiving terrain. Harsh Conditions-Proven Enter the Ahkio sled, a venerable piece of Army cold weather gear which was recently subjected to two weeks of punishing use by testers at U.S. Army Cold Regions Test Center with participation from Soldiers stationed at Fort Wainwright, Alaska. "It is a system you use to move big loads across snow and arctic terrains in all seasons," said Isaac Howell, test officer. "The scope of the test was to accumulate 45 miles on each sled, dragging it in the full spectrum of terrain encountered in the cold weather environment. Regardless of where you are in cold regions, including the Arctic, you will always encounter snowless terrain, so we really needed to see how the sled held up: One day we dragged it over seven miles of rocks." Over the course of the evaluation, testers were interested not only in the Ahkio sled's durability across punishing terrain, but in how easily it could be packed in extreme cold and how much weight it could support. The days were long and exhausting, but testers tried to CASUALTY EXTRACTION, GEAR AND ALL National Guardsmen move the Ahkio sled which contains the tent they'll sleep in at the Camp Ethan Allen Training Site, Jericho, Vt. The soldiers are assigned to the Vermont Army National Guard's Company A, 3rd Battalion, 172nd Infantry Regiment, Mountain. (Vermont Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Heidi Kroll) The U.S. Army is testing a state-of–the-art casualty sled to transport injured personnel and equipment in austere conditions such as Arctic cold. By Mark Schauer, Public Affairs Specialist, U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground 24 | Combat & Casualty Care | Spring 2017

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