18th MDSC completes CERTEX for wartime operational capabilities

| September 7, 2010 | 0 Comments

Story and Photos by
Sgt. 1st Class Rodney Jackson
18th Medical Deployment Support Command Public Affairs

Lt. Gen. Benjamin Mixon (left), commander, USARPAC, signs the official document certifying the 18th MDSC as IOC, while Brig. Gen. Keith Gallagher (center), commander, Pacific Region Medical Command and TAMC; Col. Michael McDonald (standing), chief of staff, 18th MDSC; and Col. Erin Edgar, commander, 18th MDSC; look on, after the unit’s operations command post certification exercise on Schofield Barrack’s Leaders Field, during Ulchi Freedom Guardian, Aug. 16-26.FORT SHAFTER — The 18th Medical Deployment Support Command completed a certification exercise on Schofield Barracks from Aug. 16-26, which officially makes the unit initial operation capable, or IOC, to perform its wartime mission, as a command and control for all medical units assigned and attached to the U.S Army-Pacific theater of operations. 

The certification exercise was part of Ulchi Freedom Guardian 2010, a regularly scheduled summer exercise that provides valuable training for forces from the Republic of Korea and the U.S. 

As part of the certification, the unit simulated a deployment and convoyed to Schofield Barrack’s Leader Field; it set up an operations command post and conducted operations with other units participating in the exercise while its main command post was back at Fort Shafter. 

Lt. Gen. Benjamin Mixon, commander, USARPAC, signed the official document that made the unit IOC at the completion of the exercise.

“You’ve achieved a lot over the past year, and I’m very proud of you,” Mixon said, during the concluding briefing. “This was a really good effort by everybody. We appreciate the off-island personnel support. You are a great asset.”

Many off-island Army medical officers from the Professional Officer Filler Information System, along with other Army military specialists, were attached to the unit to fill unique sections. For example, a team was attached to observe and control each section of the certification, to validate if the unit could perform at a level that would allow it to pass the IOC process. 

“I think this was a good experience and a valuable exercise for the 18th,” said Col. Tracy Smith, senior observer controller, 3rd MDSC observer controller team, adding that the Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercise was a good platform for the unit to use for a certification. 

“Our mission here was to determine, in our professional opinion, if the 18th demonstrated initial operation capability,” Smith said. “We think that they did quite well and feel that they demonstrated IOC for the operational command post.”

Throughout the exercise, all sections worked together to demonstrate their ability to coordinate with each other and subordinate units within the national exercise theater, just like they would in a real-world deployment. 

In the theater patient-movement section, 18th MDSC tracked two subordinate units’ hospital’s patient numbers of admissions and the number of Soldiers returned to duty, on the medical situation report. Along with many other vital functions, this task is a very important one for the medical unit. 

“When we get numbers from our subordinate units, we have to make sure they are correct,” said Spc. Frank Fabian, air evacuation clerk, 18th MDSC. “We sat down, contacted the units, brainstormed and verified that the units’ total numbers matched up, before presenting them to the commander.”

Brig. Gen. Keith Gallagher, commander, Pacific Region Medical Command and Tripler Army Medical Center, said that bringing all the different parts to 18th MDSC builds an all-star team “that works together, builds together and stays together.”

“We’ve learned a lot, we’re going to get better, and have paved the way for U.S. Army Medical Command to teach other medical deployment support command teams,” Gallagher said.

The 18th MDSC will participate in the UFG 2011 exercise, in hopes of becoming fully mission capable.

Story and Photos bySgt. 1st Class Rodney Jackson18th Medical Deployment Support Command Public AffairsFORT SHAFTER — The 18th Medical Deployment Support Command completed a certification exercise on Schofield Barracks from Aug. 16-26, which officially makes the unit initial operation capable, or IOC, to perform its wartime mission, as a command and control for all medical units assigned and attached to the U.S Army-Pacific theater of operations. The certification exercise was part of Ulchi Freedom Guardian 2010, a regularly scheduled summer exercise that provides valuable training for forces from the Republic of Korea and the U.S. As part of the certification, the unit simulated a deployment and convoyed to Schofield Barrack’s Leader Field; it set up an operations command post and conducted operations with other units participating in the exercise while its main command post was back at Fort Shafter. Lt. Gen. Benjamin Mixon, commander, USARPAC, signed the official document that made the unit IOC at the completion of the exercise.“You’ve achieved a lot over the past year, and I’m very proud of you,” Mixon said, during the concluding briefing. “This was a really good effort by everybody. We appreciate the off-island personnel support. You are a great asset.”Many off-island Army medical officers from the Professional Officer Filler Information System, along with other Army military specialists, were attached to the unit to fill unique sections. For example, a team was attached to observe and control each section of the certification, to validate if the unit could perform at a level that would allow it to pass the IOC process. “I think this was a good experience and a valuable exercise for the 18th,” said Col. Tracy Smith, senior observer controller, 3rd MDSC observer controller team, adding that the Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercise was a good platform for the unit to use for a certification. “Our mission here was to determine, in our professional opinion, if the 18th demonstrated initial operation capability,” Smith said. “We think that they did quite well and feel that they demonstrated IOC for the operational command post.”Throughout the exercise, all sections worked together to demonstrate their ability to coordinate with each other and subordinate units within the national exercise theater, just like they would in a real-world deployment. In the theater patient-movement section, 18th MDSC tracked two subordinate units’ hospital’s patient numbers of admissions and the number of Soldiers returned to duty, on the medical situation report. Along with many other vital functions, this task is a very important one for the medical unit. “When we get numbers from our subordinate units, we have to make sure they are correct,” said Spc. Frank Fabian, air evacuation clerk, 18th MDSC. “We sat down, contacted the units, brainstormed and verified that the units’ total numbers matched up, before presenting them to the commander.”Brig. Gen. Keith Gallagher, commander, Pacific Region Medical Command and Tripler Army Medical Center, said that bringing all the different parts to 18th MDSC builds an all-star team “that works together, builds together and stays together.”“We’ve learned a lot, we’re going to get better, and have paved the way for U.S. Army Medical Command to teach other medical deployment support command teams,” Gallagher said.The 18th MDSC will participate in the UFG 2011 exercise, in hopes of becoming fully mission capable.

Category: Exercises, News

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