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    ‘Durable Brigade’ Soldiers return after supporting US Army North Command in Detroit

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    Photo By Sgt. 1st Class Victor Gardner | Pvt. 1st Class Nicholas Godwin, strength management specialist, 1ID Sustainment...... read more read more



    Story by Sgt. 1st Class Victor Gardner 

    1st Infantry Division Sustainment Brigade

    DETROIT, Mich. – The cross-functional Forward Assessment Sustainment Team (FAST) from 1st Infantry Division Sustainment Brigade assigned to Detroit, Michigan, recently completed their mission and returned home to Fort Riley, Kansas. The 11 Soldiers spent a month in Detroit conducting sustainment operations in support of the 13th Expeditionary Sustainment Command then transferring over to the 4th Expeditionary Sustainment Command by missions end. The team’s mission was to determine capability gaps and anticipate future requirements based on COVID-19 trends. They found themselves doing more than assessing.
    FAST 1 is comprised of several military occupations and each Soldiers’ expertise was needed in some form. The officer in charge of FAST 1, Maj. Malcom Wilson, support operations distribution integration branch chief, Forward Assessment Sustainment Team Detroit, volunteered to lead the team and take on the challenging mission.

    “I knew what our (sustainment brigade) future mission would be and wanted to take this opportunity to better understand the DSCA (Defense Security Cooperation Agency) mission and how our brigade could best posture ourselves for future success,” Wilson said. “The purpose of a FAST is primarily focused on Joint Reception, Staging, Onward Movement, and Integration (JRSOI).”

    The ‘Durable Brigade’ deployed three FAST teams to Detroit, Dallas, and Baton Rouge. All of their missions were similar and included varying emphasis. In Michigan the team enabled the FEMA Mission Assignment, which directed the Department of Defense to provide a deployable, temporary, and scalable medical staff to the State of Michigan to assist with medical care at the TCF Convention Center in Detroit.

    For the most part Wilson interacted with mission command at various levels during his team’s time in Detroit. He credits his team with being able to work alongside and becoming part of other interoperable agencies to accomplish their mission.

    “Our team directly interacted with several higher headquarters and supported/supporting headquarters,” Wilson said. “The Urban Augmentation Medical Task Force (UAMTF) 801-2 is the unit we directly supported. It included 85 medical personnel who provided medical support for 40 beds at the 1,000 bed Alternate Care Facility at the TCF Center in Detroit, Michigan.”

    “We ensured UAMTF 801-2 had the requisite life support needed to accomplish their mission,” Wilson said. “Our team worked with and for, 1st Medical Brigade supporting UAMTF 801-2, Army North Command, 13th and 4th Expeditionary Sustainment Commands to accomplish their mission. The 4th relieved the 13th toward the middle of our mission.”

    FAST 1 built and ran the JRSOI process for 112 Soldiers and Airmen directly supporting a 1,000 bed emergency medical facility at the TCF Center. The 11 "Durable Brigade" Soldiers enabled personnel accountability, medical screening, commodity management, and contracted life support. They executed 267 Common Access Card scans creating inbound and outbound manifests, 1,402 temperature checks, 278 medical screenings, and oversaw the arrival, storage and distribution of critical medical personal protective equipment including 23,060 Tyvek suits, 11,640 N95 masks, 13,184 surgical eye shields, 49,310 pairs of surgical gloves and 85,750 protective masks.

    According to Wilson, they were instrumental in managing the use of three supply chains. The primary supply chain with the State of Michigan and Michigan Incident Management Team. The secondary supply chain with FEMA and the Michigan Army National Guard supply warehouse leaders. As well as the contingency supply chain with DoD through Kelly Services USA and UAMTF 801-2.

    Chief Warrant Officer 2 Johnathen Alter, information services technician, brigade sustainment automation support management office, found himself in a different role for the team. Alter became a Contracting Officer Representative during his previous deployment and found himself in that position again for this mission.

    “The team has two areas of assessment and support, implementation of government contracts and the registration of Army Reserve and National Guard Soldiers who are on the frontline,” Alter said. “I was chosen to be a part of the initial deployment of FAST teams due to my expert technical knowledge, and my ability to quickly overcome rapidly evolving problem sets. Initially, my mission was to monitor the performance of all contracts associated with the COVID-19 response teams, and that those services were executed accordingly. Over the duration of our mission, I assisted 13th ESC leadership regarding the tracking of on hand PPE. I also advised on best practices to disseminate real-time quantities of PPE to key personnel, which included FEMA, and the medical personnel who worked at the TCF Center. This ensured everyone was aware of the current days of supply which was readily available, which allowed FEMA to forecast orders many days in advance.”

    Wilson said he chose his team based on trust and shared understanding of the mission.

    “Understanding the general mission stated, I selected my team based on the requirements and chose people whom I had directly worked with during our recent deployment to Afghanistan,” Wilson said. “I chose people who I could depend on, were resilient, and could operate independently with minimal guidance. This team deliberately duplicated key staff as we were told our mission may include executing operations at more than one location.”

    Wilson added that he is sure the sustainment brigade will be ready to support any mission when called upon.



    Date Taken: 05.21.2020
    Date Posted: 05.25.2020 14:51
    Story ID: 370725
    Location: DETROIT, KS, US 
    Hometown: DETROIT, MI, US
    Hometown: MANHATTAN, KS, US
    Hometown: ROCK ISLAND, IL, US
    Hometown: WASHINGTON, DC, US

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