Figure 7-3. C-130 (Hercules).
Figure 7-4. C-7 (Caribou).
b. Strategic (Intertheater) System. The strategic system operates between
oversea areas or from a theater of active operations to the CONUS, to provide
aeromedical evacuation of the sick and wounded. The MAC operates on air routes to
major points throughout the world. The aircraft currently in use is the C-141 (Starlifter),
(figure 7-5). This is a long range aircraft that cruises at more than 500 miles per hour
and at altitudes in excess of 30,000 feet. It is basically a cargo aircraft using its
retrograde or backhaul capability to transport patients. However, it provides much
better accommodations than does the tactical system. Patients are not overcrowded,
hot meals are provided, and the cabin temperature is better controlled than in tactical
aircraft. Oxygen and electrical outlets permit the use of complex medical equipment
enroute. Because of the distances involved, flights may be airborne for 8 to 12 hours.
Since the humidity is very low, dehydration may occur. Both of these factors should be
considered in selecting patients for evacuation by this system.