Military Failed to Properly Track Brain Injuries: IG Report

1 year ago 141

On Jan. 7, 2020, Iran launched much than a twelve ballistic missiles astatine Iraqi bases lodging U.S. troops successful retaliation for the United States sidesplitting Iranian wide Qassem Suleimani.

No U.S. troops were killed successful the strike, but the Pentagon initially reported that 34 of them suffered traumatic encephalon injuries. Officials past upped that fig to 50, earlier saying a period aboriginal that much than 100 troops suffered encephalon injuries.

Nearly 2 years aft the fact, determination are inactive conflicting numbers for however galore encephalon injuries resulted from the January 2020 Iranian strike, according to a study from the Inspector General (IG) for the Department of Defense (DoD).

The IG study (pdf), released Wednesday, said determination are 2 sets of information tracking encephalon injuries stemming from the Jan. 2020 Iran attack: 1 from U.S. Central Command and different from the  Joint Trauma Analysis and Prevention of Injury successful Combat (JTAPIC) Program Office.

The IG said CENTCOM reported 110 work members arsenic having sustained a tramatic encephalon injury, portion the JTAPIC identified 87 work members.

“This could mean that 23 Service members did not person the [traumatic encephalon injury] documented successful the [electronic wellness records],” the IG said.

The IG utilized the Iranian rocket onslaught to item the problem, but the study said the nonaccomplishment to decently way encephalon injuries is endemic passim CENTCOM.

According to the IG, DoD regulations necessitate subject branches to study each perchance concussive events to the JTAPIC successful a monthly tracking report. But CENTCOM hasn’t done this since October 2014, the IG said.

“This occurred due to the fact that USCENTCOM relied connected [electronic wellness records] to place DoD work members who were progressive successful [potentially concussive events] alternatively than creating monthly tracking reports,” the IG said.

CENTCOM unit said the request to supply monthly reports to JTAPIC is redundant with the accusation contained successful physics wellness records. However, physics wellness records don’t ever see the indispensable accusation to way perchance concussive events oregon the work members involved, the IG said.

Improper information tracking means the DoD cannot guarantee that each work members person due treatment, the IG said.

“The deficiency of accusation made it hard to find if the work subordinate was progressive successful a [potentially concussive event], if the [traumatic encephalon injury] was sustained successful USCENTCOM, oregon if the work subordinate had been cleared for instrumentality to work status,” the IG said. “Furthermore, the DoD whitethorn not cognize the fig of Service members progressive successful [potentially concussive events] successful the USCENTCOM Area of Responsibility.”

“Finally, without accordant and capable accusation connected [potentially concussive events], work members whitethorn not beryllium eligible to person disablement benefits oregon attraction from the Department of Veterans Affairs aft separating from the military,” the IG added.

The IG recommended that CENTCOM commencement submitting the monthly reports, and that the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff name an bureau to show compliance with the reporting requirements. Both agencies agreed with the recommendations, though their written responses are mostly redacted from the IG report.

Since 2000, much than 413,858 Service members person been diagnosed with a traumatic encephalon injury.

Such injuries are thought to beryllium a large origin driving rising termination rates among America’s veterans. A June report (pdf) from Brown University’s Costs of War task revealed that U.S. seasoned termination rates are astir 1.5 times higher than the wide colonisation and person surpassed immoderate work subordinate termination rates since earlier World War II.

The study attributed the inordinately precocious termination rates successful ample portion to the usage of IEDs successful the panic wars, which has led to a spike successful encephalon injuries among combat vets. Many brain-injured vets are redeployed, exacerbating their intelligence trauma, the study said.

“Caused by blast injuries from IEDs, collisions, and rollovers, oregon immoderate concern causing blunt trauma to a work member’s head, [brain injuries] are the ‘signature injury’ of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts, affecting betwixt 8 and 20 percent of subject personnel,” the study said.

“Yet [service members] person been persistently redeployed adjacent aft surviving 1 oregon much of them, which ought to rise superior reddish flags.”

Ken Silva

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Ken Silva covers nationalist information issues for The Epoch Times. His reporting inheritance besides includes cybersecurity, transgression and offshore concern – including 3 years arsenic a newsman successful the British Virgin Islands and 2 years successful the Cayman Islands. Contact him astatine [email protected]

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