Sgt. 1st Class Rodney Jackson
18th Medical Deployment Support Command Public Affairs
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Personnel from U.S. Pacific Command; 8th Field Army, Korea; U.S. Army-Pacific; Army Medical Department; 8th Theater Sustainment Command; 65th Medical Brigade; and the 18th Medical Deployment Support Command gathered to participate in the first-ever Pacific Integration Medical Conference, held at the 1st Lt. Nainoa K. Hoe Battle Command Training Center, here, Jan. 4-6.
Although 18th MDSC is not new to the Pacific region, its change of responsibilities to the medical theater enabling command and its move from Korea to Hawaii in 2008 were critical steps in recognizing many of the participants’ roles, tasks and responsibilities during the conference.
“This is about getting the right answer for the whole theater,” said Brig. Gen. Keith Gallagher, commander, Tripler Army Medical Center and Pacific Region Medical Command, and host of the event. “Our job is to be able to build a robust Army Health Support System. Look in the mirror; you’re a part of change in the Pacific.”
This time was the first many of the participants were in one room together.
“Some of the issues discussed needed to be discussed in a forum like this one,” said Lt. Col. Johnny Manning, plans officer, 18th MDSC.
“(The) things we do here will give us a broader view of what Pacific integration is and gives us details of how to do all medical tasks,” said Col. Fred Gellert, plans officer, USARPAC.
During the conference, the participants discussed everything from force structure under Medical Pacific Integration, relationships with one another, noncombatant evacuation operations and patient movement. The conference also helped facilitate clear lines of communication and reporting between generating and operational forces, to ensure a smooth transition to a single Army Service Component Command in the Pacific.
As the conference wrapped up, participants said they believed they had a better understanding of one another’s roles and tasks, and they would take these results to USARPAC and the 8th Field Army, Pacific Integration Conference, held Jan. 10-13.