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Trauma Bay II, Balad, Iraq

How Bay II Came to the Museum

A section of the Air Force’s theater hospital from Balad, Iraq was installed into a new exhibit at the Museum on November 21, 2008, completing the exhibit which is now open to the public. (See Flesh & Bones , Summer 2008.) ‘Trauma Bay II, Balad, Iraq’ depicts how combat medics, surgeons, physicians, nurses and other medical personnel work together to save the lives of wounded service members in Iraq. The exhibit features a section of the actual emergency room tent used at Balad from 2003-2007; the floor of Trauma Bay II, where the most seriously wounded would be treated upon arriving at the hospital; and artifacts that offer a glimpse into the spectrum of trauma care offered from the battlefield through evacuation of the wounded to hospitals in Germany and the United States. Photographs below depict the installation of the seven-foot wide, three-thousand pound section of concrete floor as it was carefully brought into the Museum in November.


1) Crew pushes and pulls the floor through the Museum’s front door.

4) The crew gingerly bring the floor through the doors of Silliphant Hall.

2) The floor in the Museum lobby.

5) Crew used a large gantry to carefully winch the floor back down into its prone configuration.

3) With the floor still upright, the crew pulled the floor down the corridor toward Silliphant Hall (presently hosting the RESOLVED exhibit.)

6) With inches to spare, the crew care- fully pushes the floor into the exhibit under the short section of emergency room tent.