U. S. Army Medical Exhibit Featured at National Family Physician Conference

U.S. Army Medical Recruiting Brigade
Story by Randall Lescault

Date: 08.30.2018
Posted: 08.31.2018 08:11
News ID: 291099

It dominated the massive Kansas City Conference Center, its Army Medicine message emblazoned on three sides with images of physicians, dentists, researchers and other elite Soldiers tending to patients, viewing microbes and conducting analysis. The U.S. Army Medical Marketing Semi exhibit, also referred to as the AS5, was a hit at the recent American Academy of Family Physicians Residents and Students national conference.
This large, 53’ x 16’ exhibit weighs 30 tons, and normally requires about 10 parking spaces long by 2 parking spaces deep to park. But that wasn’t a problem on the Kansas City Conference Center floor. It was parked in a strategic location at one end of the main corridor featuring hundreds of other smaller exhibits, and could be seen from the far end of the exhibit hall. The semi is managed by the U.S. Army Mission Support Battalion or MSB, an element of the U.S. Army Marketing and Engagement Brigade, based in Fort Knox, KY.
"This is the first deployment of the MMS at this national medical conference," said Maj. Chad Agustin, Officer in Charge of the Kansas City Medical Recruiting Station. "It is the largest mobile exhibit here at the American Academy of Family Physicians conference, and gives us a dramatic backdrop for our healthcare recruiters, Army physicians and exhibitors, and has attracted a lot of prospects and community partners to our table. It is like having our own billboard in the exhibit hall. It is sure hard to miss!" MRS Kansas City is part of the 5th Medical Recruiting Battalion, and the U.S. Army Medical Recruiting Brigade. The MRB and its subordinate commands are charged with recruiting physicians, dentists, nurses, other healthcare professionals, and chaplains, to serve the health and spiritual needs of Army Soldiers and their families.
The MSB team drove the semi from its Fort Knox base of operations, then maneuvered the giant asset into place on the convention floor, pushed out the slideout compartments, made the electrical hookups and prepped the inside and outside for guests.
“We get a lot of questions about the equipment we portray in use,” said Staff Sgt. Joseph Guerra, an Army medic assigned to the MMS exhibit. “They want to know what type of Army medicine units get this equipment, how is it used, etc. They also want to know what the relationship is between Army medics like myself, and Army physicians, especially in a field environment. I tell them that our working relationship is very professional and is a two-way street. In a combat environment, I am usually the first medical professional in contact with the wounded Soldier. I am in the best position to tell the physician what I know about the patient, what I have observed, and what I suspect is going on. Once I pass all the information I have on the patient to the physician, then they can run with it.”
The MMS exhibit also has multiple displays, including a working SIM-Man mannequin that can simulate everything from a collapsed lung to a heart attack or stroke. The MMS also has multiple videos that highlight Army Medicine capabilities and initiatives, such as the Army’s recent successful work on a vaccine for the Zika virus.
The Mission Support Battalion has plans to improve the MMS exhibit capabilities, and take it to the next level.
“We recently improved the interoperability of the Medical Marketing Semi (MMS/AS5) by installing an Oculus Rift Virtual Reality (VR) system that can replace one of the older Army displays on an as-needed basis,” said Lt. Col. David Eckley, the Commander of the U.S. Army Mission Support Battalion at Fort Knox. “The VR system provides the capability to introduce the viewing public to a variety of virtual medical and educational applications. We have further modified the exhibit by removing the center wall, creating an open space that facilitates larger groups. Potential uses for this space include small group instruction, such as a suture clinic or other medical specialty classes. MSB and the MRB will continue coordination to improve the exhibit for the purpose of effectively engaging Americans with the capabilities and advances in Army medicine."
The MMS is just one of many mobile exhibits the Mission Support Battalion fields on almost a daily basis. The Mobile Exhibit Company, part of the MSB, has a fleet of vehicles including Interactive Semis, Adventure Semis and Adventure Trailers, along with the Army Extreme Truck. The MSB traces its origins back to 1936, when the Army was asked to prepare exhibits for the 1939 World’s Fair in New York City.