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    DEFENDER 24 tests medical prepositioned stock readiness

    75TH FH Surgery

    Photo By Ellen Crown | Soldiers assigned to the 75th Field Hospital under the 810th Hospital Center located...... read more read more

    BAUMHOLDER, Germany – From the front lines to the supply lines, the Army is testing its ability to rapidly and dynamically project power around the globe in support of large-scale combat operations.

    One cornerstone of Army readiness is the Army Prepositioned Stocks, or APS, program. APS is a safety net of essential equipment and supplies -- from tanks to tents -- strategically prepositioned worldwide. APS is designed to increase deployment speed by allowing Soldiers to fly to a theater and “fall in” on the resources they need to fight and win.

    Nearly 200 reservists from more than 13 units put that concept to the test in May 2024. The Soldiers flew 5,000 miles – from their home stations in Alabama and Georgia – to pull a 32-bed field hospital out of storage at APS-2 located in Dülmen, Germany, move it 100 miles, and set it up.

    The goal was to build the field hospital – consisting of 26 twenty-foot containers of materiel – within three days.

    The team completed it in two days, demonstrating the Army’s ability to rapidly deliver readiness.

    “Take reserve Soldiers out of their homes and fly them halfway across the world to build a hospital in two days, that is something none of us here have done before,” said Col. Saul J. Weinreb, commander of the 810th Hospital Center.

    The drill was a small, yet crucial part of an annual military exercise called DEFENDER that focuses on the strategic deployment of continental, U.S.-based forces, employment of APS, and interoperability with allies and partners at exercise locations across 13 European countries.

    “This exercise gives us an opportunity to see where we are as compared to the regular Army who are able to do this every day, so I think this is a huge accomplishment,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Monica P. Terry, 810th Hospital Center. “We can see that if we work together as a team, we can accomplish anything.”

    This year was the Army’s first time ever releasing a 32-bed field hospital from APS-2 medical stocks maintained by the U.S. Army Medical Materiel Agency, or USAMMA, a direct reporting unit of the U.S. Army Medical Logistics Command.

    Prior to the fielding, staff from the U.S. Army Medical Materiel Center – Europe, or USAMMC-E, which operates as the Theater Lead Agent for Medical Materiel, helped fill shortages by ordering critical medical supplies. Throughout DEFENDER 24, USAMMC-E executed more than 400 orders of medical equipment and supplies for various units participating in the exercise.

    The handoff was conducted in close coordination with 405th Army Field Support Brigade, which issued over 150 vehicles and non-medical support equipment to enable the Field Hospital capability.

    Additionally, a team from the 6th Medical Logistics Management Center provided support with the Global Combat Support System-Army, more commonly known as GCSS-Army -- the Army’s system of record for tactical logistics missions.

    “USAMMA’s mission is to maintain the medical materiel at a constant state of readiness so that when it is needed, it is available, and it works. However, handing off and moving this equipment is a total team effort and would not have been possible without the support from USAMMC-E, the 6th MLMC, AFSBn-Germany, as well as the 30th Medical Brigade and 16th Sustainment Brigade,” said Maj. Tameka Tutt, USAMMA’s Officer in Charge for the APS-2 operations in support of the DEFENDER 24 exercise. “This exercise is a way for us to test our readiness and performance against Army requirements.”

    In addition to fielding the hospital, USAMMA also released a tactical combat casualty care medical equipment set and six ground ambulance sets in support of National Guard units conducting training in the Czech Republic.

    Weinreb, a doctor with more than 20 years in the Army Reserves, said this exercise was unlike any other he had participated in before because of its scale and scope. DEFENDER 24 included more than 17,000 U.S. and 23,000 multinational service members from more than 20 allied and partner nations, including Croatia, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Georgia, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

    “The rapid draw, issue and implementation of an APS-2 field hospital demonstrates how the Army can rapidly deploy medical personnel and capabilities to extend operational reach and lines of communication in conflict,” stated U.S. Army Europe and Africa Deputy Command Surgeon Col. (Doctor) Ross Witters, in a released memo.

    The exercise is not only a show of competence and collaboration, but also an opportunity for the participating Soldiers to learn and grow.

    “This whole thing is just a big gap analysis,” explained 75th Field Hospital Chief Nurse Maj. Jamie Rodriguez-Lawson. “We are looking at our processes and identifying the gaps.”

    Lawson, who served eight years on active duty before transitioning to the reserves in 2016, said she is extremely proud of not only what the team accomplished but also what they learned by overcoming challenges along the way. One such challenge was setting up the hospital’s complex power distribution required to run everything from the lights to the medical equipment.

    “You can get all the training the world, but you only get real experience when things don’t go the way you expect and you can trouble-shoot issues,” said Corporal Christopher D. Spivey, a tactical power generation specialist assigned to the 75th Field Hospital.

    At the completion of the exercise, the Soldiers will complete a “retrograde” of their issued APS-2 materiel and return the equipment to Dülmen. There, members of USAMMA will receive and inspect the equipment to ensure it if fully mission capable before returning it to storage.

    Weinreb emphasized that this part of the process is just as important as the initial issue and set up because, in the future, another unit will be depending on that life-saving equipment.

    “Throughout the entire process, we have made sure that the team understands how important every step is and why we are doing this [exercise],” Weinreb added. “That is my favorite part – seeing how excited the Soldiers get at being a part of something that really matters.”

    The U.S. Army Medical Logistics Command is the Army’s life cycle management command for medical materiel. AMLC’s headquarters, located at Fort Detrick, Maryland, provide support to three direct reporting units, including USAMMA, USAMMC-E, and the U.S. Army Medical Materiel Center – Korea. AMLC’s mission is to deliver medical logistics, sustainment, and materiel readiness from the strategic support area to the forward tactical edge to increase survivability and sustain fighting strength. Learn more at:

    Are you curious what the inside of a field hospital looks like? Get an inside view:



    Date Taken: 05.24.2024
    Date Posted: 05.24.2024 11:47
    Story ID: 472233
    Location: DE

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