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DOD Commends Commanders' Actions in Missile Attack

Jan. 17, 2020 | BY Claudette Roulo , DOD News

Two soldiers surrounded by a pile of charred metal debris.
Missile Impact Site
Army Col. Myles B. Caggins III, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve spokesperson, left, and Army Maj. Charlie Dietz, task force public affairs officer, walk through a missile impact site at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, Jan. 13, 2020. Multiple international news agencies were invited by military officials to participate in a media event at the base following a ballistic missile attack by Iran.
Photo By: Army Spc. Derek Mustard
VIRIN: 200113-A-DS044-1478

Commanders in Iraq took every necessary step to ensure the safety of U.S. forces during the Jan. 8 missile attack by Iran on Al Asad Air Base, Chief Pentagon Spokesperson Alyssa Farah said today.

Pentagon leaders were notified yesterday that several service members were examined for concussions following the attack, Farah told members of the Pentagon press corps.

"This is in line with reporting requirements, and the commander on the ground took the appropriate steps to ensure the service members received the appropriate level of care," she said. "We fully expect the service members to return to their duty when deemed medically able."

A soldier uses a bulldozer to push a pile of metal construction debris.
Debris Removal
Soldiers from the 206th Engineer Battalion, airmen and civilian contractors remove debris after an Iranian missile attack at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, Jan. 13, 2020.
Photo By: Army Spc. Derek Mustard
VIRIN: 200113-A-DS044-1883

Military regulations require that the Pentagon be immediately notified of injuries to U.S. military personnel when there is a threat to life, limb or vision, Farah said. Concussions aren't usually reported to the defense secretary, she said, but because of public interest, officials sought out additional information.

Additionally, some of the injured personnel didn't report their symptoms immediately after the attack, said Jonathan Rath Hoffman, assistant to the secretary of defense for public affairs. 

"Either they had concussion symptoms that appeared shortly after the attack, and did not diminish and, therefore they've been sent on for further evaluation, or they have concussion symptoms ... that only manifested later, and therefore have caused medical personnel on the ground to move them onward for examination," he said.

Soldiers and civilians stand on the site of a destroyed metal pole-barn-style building.
Reporter Visit
Reporters visit one of the many impact sites created by an Iranian missile attack at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, Jan. 13, 2020. Multiple international news agencies were invited by military officials to view the damage from the attacks.
Photo By: Army Spc. Derek Mustard
VIRIN: 200113-A-DS044-1269

Most of the personnel examined after the attack needed no additional medical attention, Farah said. "However, a number of service members continued to display concussion-like symptoms days after the attacks and reported them to their chain of command," she said.

Eleven service members needed further evaluation, she said. Of those, Farah said, eight were transported to Landstuhl, Germany, where MRI equipment is available, and three were transported to Kuwait for observation.