An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : Our Story : Our News : Article Display
NEWS | July 1, 2022

Camp Humphreys DMZ Dustoff

By Sgt. Oscar Toscano 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade

CAMP HUMPHREYS, Republic of Korea – When a call requesting an immediate medical evacuation is made, Soldiers of Charlie Company, 3-2 General Support Aviation Battalion, 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, known as DMZ DUSTOFF on Camp Humphreys, Republic of Korea, are prepared for flight within 15 minutes of contact.

DUSTOFF is the callsign used by the Army’s Air Ambulance units and is also an acronym meaning Dedicated Unhesitating Service to Our Fighting Forces.
Sgt. Jake Mellott, a Critical Care Flight Paramedic assigned to DMZ DUSTOFF ensures he and his team are prepared to assist with medical evacuations and patient transfers throughout the peninsula at a moment’s notice.

“Typically, we are in the air no more than 15 minutes after a MEDEVAC is requested,” said Mellott. “We fly in a UH-60 Blackhawk medical helicopter which is pre-staged with medical equipment for a variety of injuries or treatments from infants to elderly and to include military dogs.”
Critical Care Flight Paramedics can be requested for casualty evacuations in many locations including hostile zones, areas difficult for ambulances to reach and for immediate patient transfers.

“When we receive a call for a MEDEVAC, my team and I are prepared for rough terrain or areas without a landing zone, we have all the equipment needed to make a precise evacuation,” said Mellott. “We currently have three 24/7-hour operations between us here in Camp Humphreys and our other team up north in Camp Casey, we are on stand-by for whenever the calls come in.”

Mellott and the DUSTOFF team continuously provide training for units across the Republic of Korea to familiarize them on their medical equipment, transport capabilities and level of patient care.

“We arrive at a location to give U.S. and ROK Army ground units MED 101 Training; an introduction to air MEDEVAC,” said Mellott. “We teach the troops how to approach a running rotary wing aircraft and how to properly load a casualty who is strapped to a litter. Also, how to execute a hoist evacuation for casualties when we are unable to land and need to pick up while hovering.”

The crew members of the DMZ DUSTOFF have worked many training missions and provided urgent care for many patients across the Republic of Korea.
“My job involves a lot of communication between the pilots, crew chief and myself, especially when I’m on ground assessing a casualty,” said Mellott. “During flight we have to watch each other’s blind spots constantly but when I am on ground, they depend on me to assess a casualty and get them on board as soon as possible.”

The DMZ DUSTOFF team have successfully completed many missions supporting the 2nd Infantry Divisions motto of “Fight Tonight” and the motto we share with our Korean counterparts “We go together” while continuing to live up to the DUSTOFF motto “When I have your wounded”.
“I love my job and I enjoy coming to work with my team, there is a strong bond between all of us here at DUSTOFF,” said Mellott. “It is humbling to me knowing that my team and I save lives and that is something I will always be proud of.”