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These Are The 10 Worst Military Installations For Heat-Related Illnesses
It’s called exertional hyponatremia, and in severe cases it can put someone in a coma.
The heat-related illness characterized by low sodium levels can be fatal — you can get it from drinking too much water during exercise.
And while it’s rare, you have a higher chance of developing it if you’re a Marine or recruit at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island.
The Military Times first reported Department of Defense data that showed more than 1,500 active-duty personnel were diagnosed with the condition between 2001 and 2016. Parris Island accounted for just over 14 percent of those cases, about twice as many as the next closest bases.
The Marine Corps far outpaces the other service branches in terms of per-capita incidents of this specific type of heat-associated illness, according to the Military Times.
The report shows there were more than 2,500 cases of all forms of heat-related illnesses across all branches in 2016, including 386 instances of heat stroke. The U.S. Army accounted for the greatest share, 1,441, followed by the Marines, with 734.
Parris Island has “a specific Heat Injury Prevention Program order that provides overarching guidance and policies such as reporting procedures (and) visual/audible warning systems,” depot spokesman Capt. Adam Flores wrote in an email Friday afternoon. “There is additional guidance ... within the Recruit Training Order, such as scheduling ... physical training ... early in the mornings to avoid ... the hottest portions of the day.”
U.S. Army photo
More specifically, the depot:
- has a colored flag system that restricts or limits activity based on temperature and “heat stress”,
- provides table salt and Gatorade at every meal — to boost sodium levels — and during key training events,
- encourages the use of shade during physical training and allows for “uniform modifications,” such as the removal of helmets during conditioning hikes, and
- instructs all personnel on the signs of heat-related illness and how to seek help from on-site Navy corpsmen and other first responders.
Lumped together, Parris Island and Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort occupy the No. 6 spot in the country in terms of instances of heat-related illnesses between 2002 and 2016. The Army’s Fort Benning, Ga, topped the list. Fort Jackson, No. 3 on the list, was the only other South Carolina installation.
Top 10 installations for heat-related illnesses, 2002-2016*
1. Fort Benning, Georgia (1,451 incidents, 12.1 percent of total).
2. Fort Bragg, North Carolina (1,409 incidents, 11.8 percent).
3. Fort Jackson, South Carolina (911 incidents, 7.6 percent).
4. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune/Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C. (661 incidents, 5.5 percent).
5. Fort Campbell, Kentucky (579 incidents, 4.8 percent).
6. Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island/Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, S.C. (498 incidents, 4.2 percent).
7. Fort Polk, Louisiana (468 incidents, 3.9 percent).
8. Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif. (393 incidents, 3.3 percent).
9. Fort Hood, Texas (308 incidents, 2.6 percent).
10. Naval Medical Center San Diego (276 incidents, 2.3 percent).
*Based on reporting from the Military Times, citing Defense Health Agency data
©2017 The Island Packet (Hilton Head, S.C.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
BANGKOK (Reuters) - Defense Secretary Mark Esper expressed confidence on Sunday in the U.S. military justice system's ability to hold troops to account, two days after President Donald Trump pardoned two Army officers accused of war crimes in Afghanistan.
Trump also restored the rank of a Navy SEAL platoon commander who was demoted for actions in Iraq.
Asked how he would reassure countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq in the wake of the pardons, Esper said: "We have a very effective military justice system."
"I have great faith in the military justice system," Esper told reporters during a trip to Bangkok, in his first remarks about the issue since Trump issued the pardons.
On a military base, a black flag is bad news. That means it's too hot outside to do anything strenuous, so training and missions are put off until conditions improve.
As the climate changes, there could be plenty more black flag days ahead, especially in Florida, a new analysis from the Union of Concerned Scientists found. America's military bases could see an average of an extra month of dangerously hot days by mid-century. In Florida, they could quadruple.
Pentagon data shows heat-related illnesses and injuries are on the rise in every branch of the military. Last year, nearly 2,800 troops suffered heatstroke or heat exhaustion, a roughly 50 percent jump from 2014.
"I think most of us, if we hear there are tens of thousands of cases of heat stress in our troops every year, our minds would go to where they were deployed," said Kristy Dahl, a senior climate scientist at UCS and the lead author of the study. "But more than 90% of the military cases of heatstroke happened right here at home."
BANGKOK (Reuters) - The United States and South Korea said on Sunday they will postpone upcoming military drills in an effort to bolster a stalled peace push with North Korea, even as Washington denied the move amounted to another concession to Pyongyang.
The drills, known as the Combined Flying Training Event, would have simulated air combat scenarios and involved an undisclosed number of warplanes from both the United States and South Korea.
An opening ceremony will be held Monday on Hawaii island for a military exercise with China that will involve about 100 People's Liberation Army soldiers training alongside U.S. Army counterparts.
This comes after Adm. Phil Davidson, head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, spoke on Veterans Day at Punchbowl cemetery about the "rules-based international order" that followed U.S. victory in the Pacific in World War II, and China's attempts to usurp it.
Those American standards "are even more important today," Davidson said, "as malicious actors like the Communist Party of China seek to redefine the international order through corruption, malign cyber activities, intellectual property theft, restriction of individual liberties, military coercion and the direct attempts to override other nations' sovereignty."
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday told North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to "act quickly" to reach a deal with the United States, in a tweet weighing in on North Korea's criticism of his political rival former Vice President Joe Biden.
Trump, who has met Kim three times since 2018 over ending the North's missile and nuclear programs, addressed Kim directly, referring to the one-party state's ruler as "Mr. Chairman".
In his tweet, Trump told Kim, "You should act quickly, get the deal done," and hinted at a further meeting, signing off "See you soon!"