18th MEDCOM (DS) reviews year

| December 18, 2014 | 1 Comment
Master Sgt. Donald Neely, of the 18th Medical Command (Deployment Support) Clinical Operations noncommissioned officer in charge, shows Cambodian Army Soldiers how to splint an arm during the Medical First Responder course, Sept. 14. (Courtesy photo by 18th Medical Command Public Affairs)

Master Sgt. Donald Neely, of the 18th Medical Command (Deployment Support) Clinical Operations noncommissioned officer in charge, shows Cambodian Army Soldiers how to splint an arm during the Medical First Responder course, Sept. 14. (Courtesy photo by 18th Medical Command Public Affairs)

FORT SHAFTER — The 18th Medical Command (Deployment Support) finished the year by welcoming Command Sgt. Maj. Thomas Wrighton Jr. as the new senior enlisted adviser for the unit, Dec. 15.

Command Sgt. Maj. Thomas Wrighton Jr., the 18th Medical Command (Deployment Support) incoming command sergeant major hands the colors back to the color bearer after accepting responsibility of them from Col. Bret T. Ackermann, the 18th MEDCOM (DS) commander at Fort Shafter's historic Palm Circle, Dec. 15. (Courtesy photo by 18th Medical Command [Deployment Support] Public Affairs)

Command Sgt. Maj. Thomas Wrighton Jr., the 18th Medical Command (Deployment Support) incoming command sergeant major hands the colors back to the color bearer after accepting responsibility of them from Col. Bret T. Ackermann, the 18th MEDCOM (DS) commander at Fort Shafter’s historic Palm Circle, Dec. 15. (Courtesy photo by 18th Medical Command [Deployment Support] Public Affairs)

It bid farewell to Command Sgt. Maj. Alexis A. King, who was selected as the commandant for the Noncommissioned Officer Academy at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, after only 15 months with the 18th MEDCOM (DS).

In early February, the unit finalized its Operational Center (OPCEN), which is used as a medical coordination center to Army medical units conducting contingency operations within the Pacific area of responsibility.

Its functionality was put to the test with two large-scale training exercises in March and August, Key Resolve ’14 and Ulchi-Freedom Guardian ‘14. By August, the OPCEN was fully mission-capable.

Having this center allows the unit to support the concept of a Joint Medical Operations Element (JMOE). This element would provide U.S. Pacific Command and U.S. Army-Pacific a unique capability: a flexible, single service medical headquarters that can mission command any medical element or task force that can be augmented with personnel from all services to meet mission requirements.

As a component of the JMOE, the unit created a Medical Response Package (MRP) to aid USPACOM and USARPAC with scalable, tailor-able medical packages consisting of personnel and equipment to assist in the event of a humanitarian aid or disaster relief mission. The unit deployed this element once and put them on alert three times within 2014.

Overlapping these events, the 18th MEDCOM (DS) continued to focus on medical diplomacy in the Pacific region through Theater Cooperation Program (TCP) missions. In Cambodia, Sri Lanka and Thailand, the 18th MEDCOM (DS) taught the Medical First Responder Course created by the Defense Institute for Military Operations (DIMO).

In addition to teaching MFR in Sri Lanka, the unit led the Humanitarian De-mining Action mission, supported by the 74th Explosive Ordinance Company and Public Health Command.

Col. Bret T. Ackermann, the 18th MEDCOM (DS) commander, and Command Sgt. Maj. Thomas Wrighton Jr., the incoming 18th MEDCOM (DS) Command Sgt. Maj., wait for the colors to be brought forward by Command Sgt. Maj. Alexis A. King, the outgoing senior enlisted adviser, during the change of responsibility at Fort Shafter's Historic Palm Circle, Dec. 15. (Courtesy Photo by 18th Medical Command [Deployment Support] Public Affairs)

Col. Bret T. Ackermann, the 18th MEDCOM (DS) commander, and Command Sgt. Maj. Thomas Wrighton Jr., the incoming 18th MEDCOM (DS) Command Sgt. Maj., wait for the colors to be brought forward by Command Sgt. Maj. Alexis A. King, the outgoing senior enlisted adviser, during the change of responsibility at Fort Shafter’s Historic Palm Circle, Dec. 15. (Courtesy Photo by 18th Medical Command [Deployment Support] Public Affairs)

Each mission is intended to demonstrate commitment to the Army’s Asia-Pacific allies, as well as strengthen partnerships within the region through the education, support and collaboration of medical practices and procedures used worldwide. The 18th MEDCOM (DS) has already begun to plan future engagements expanding their impact to more Pacific partners.

18th MEDCOM (DS) also conducted another mission within the Pacific by supporting the local community. The unit participates in the Army School Sponsorship Program, where it conducted two visits to Radford High School in Honolulu. During visits, the 18th MEDCOM (DS) Soldiers focused on the promotion of the Army’s Office of the Surgeon General’s Performance Triad, consisting of nutrition, activity and rest (or sleep).

Other key events during the year included one Soldier achieving the Expert Field Medical Badge and seven Soldiers inducted into the Order of Military Merit.

The command also held the 18th MEDCOM 6th annual officers vs. enlisted Turkey Bowl to continue its focus on building esprit de corps.

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Category: News, Year in Review

Comments (1)

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  1. MSG Elton B Jones says:

    MSG Neely is an outstanding NCO and Can you please pass a message to MSG Neely that I would like to get in touch with him.

    MSG Elton Jones (Retired)

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