Last MASH Unit Decommissioned, Handed to Pakistan

The U.S. Army has decommissioned its last remaining MASH unit and turned the facilities over to Pakistan to continue helping earthquake victims.

The U.S. Army bade “Goodbye, Farewell and Amen” to perhaps its best-loved institution on Thursday when it decommissioned its last Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH) and handed it over to Pakistan.

A legendary institution that gained worldwide fame through a long-running television comedy series and a hit 1970 feature film portraying a fictional 4077th MASH, has a history dating back more than 60 years to the end of World War Two. The field hospitals served in U.S. wars since, from Korea to Vietnam and Iraq, saving many thousands of lives.

The MASH decommissioned on Thursday — the 212th based in Miesau, Germany — was based in Iraq until last year. Perhaps fittingly, given the strong underlying anti-war theme of the film and television portrayals, it ended its U.S. service on a peaceful humanitarian mission, aiding victims of the catastrophic earthquake that devastated Pakistan on Oct. 8.

A fitting end, indeed.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. LJD says:

    The 84-bed facility treated over 20,000 survivors of the disaster, which killed more than 73,000 people.

    The largest ever U.S. military relief mission is due to wind up by March 31, but helicopters needed to supply isolated villages in the mountains will keep flying.

    The facility, worth $4.6 million, has now become a valuable addition to the Pakistani military’s medical corps.

    The United States has pledged $510 million for humanitarian and reconstruction assistance since the earthquake in Pakistan

    Meanwhile rioters burn KFC, Pizza Hut, and McDonalds, American flags, etc. because of ‘offensive’ cartoons that we did not publish.

    Surreal.

  2. G A PHILLIPS says:

    Can we send them Alan Alda and that other mad Jackass from the last mash shows too? Please?

  3. Digger says:

    My mom served in the first gulf war in a MASH unit for the 82nd airborne. This seems like a ridiculous thing to get rid of.

    What’re they going to do when out in the middle of a remote area, always expect a hospital to be nearby? The world changes quickly and we may not always have a friendly neighboring country with a quality hospital to send wounded soldiers to.