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March 15, 2005

Near-real-time news...

...forwarded from the Castle's War Correspondent, MSG Keith in Afghanistan, actual military journalist unknown - you probably heard it here, first.

*Welcome readers from the Blogfather's home, National Review! More stories from Afghanistan to be found 'round here - like right below this one...* Feel free to poke about and hang around!

Subject: [alert-cfca] US army medics deliver baby aboard flying Black Hawk (03:07 Eastern Standard Time)

KABUL, March 15 (AFP) - An Afghan mother of 14 children added another to her large family, but this time in mid-air on a US military helicopter, the army said Tuesday, hailing the onflight birth as a first.

"Hey, we've got another passenger on board," the pilot radioed to escort aircraft Saturday after US medics delivered 40-year-old Melawa's baby girl, the first onflight birth over a combat zone according to the military.

Melawa, the wife of a local village elder, was evacuated from Shkin, in southeast Afghanistan close to the Pakistani border, as she was struggling to give birth after 18 hours of labour.

Her baby daughter, however, did not wait for the crew to land.

Specialist Kyle Storbakken, a medical technician, and Doctor David Barber, commander of the General Hospital's medical detachment at Salerno, in southeast Afghanistan, delivered her while in flight.

"It was pretty intense. It's hard to believe we helped a woman give birth to a baby up there," Storbakken said.

Storbakken helped the woman and her husband onto the helicopter. Shortly after it took off, the woman's situation appeared to worsen, Storbakken said. The helicopter's pilot powered the rotors at full speed toward the US camp near Khost. A few minutes later Storbakken came over the aircraft's intercom with good news.

"We've got a baby girl," Storbakken announced, after he cut the umbilical cord, the press release said.

They were later transported to US Bagram Airfield, where doctors reported both were doing well.

Kewl. Very kewl.

UPdate - dangit. Stars and Stripes has access to the same sources I do - and ran with it first... ah well, we were mebbe first on *this* continent... though I'm betting the Early Bird had it, too!

John | Permalink | Comments (27) | Global War on Terror (GWOT)
» BLACKFIVE links with: Blackhawk Adds Passenger While In Flight
» View From Tonka links with: Afghanistan - Passenger Added in Flight
» Speed of Thought... links with: "Hey, we've got another passenger on board"
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