18th MEDCOM (DS) demonstrates international resiliency in action

| December 17, 2015 | 0 Comments
Soldiers of the 18th Medical Command (DS) participate in a unit readiness training exercise on Nov. 15 in order to verify the readiness of unit personnel and equipment at Fort Shafter Flats, Hawaii.  The exercise established a baseline for unit readiness and provided insight for planning future field exercises for the unit.   (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class John D. Brown, 18th Medical Command)

Soldiers of the 18th Medical Command (DS) participate in a unit readiness training exercise on Nov. 15 in order to verify the readiness of unit personnel and equipment at Fort Shafter Flats, Hawaii. The exercise established a baseline for unit readiness and provided insight for planning future field exercises for the unit. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class John D. Brown, 18th Medical Command)

Sgt. 1st Class John D. Brown
18th Medical Command (Deployment Support) Public Affairs

The 2015 calendar for the 18th Medical Command (Deployment Support) looked more like a roadmap of the Indo-Asian Pacific Region than a schedule of events.

Having been designated as the “Operational Arm of Army Health Systems in the Indo-Asian Pacific Region,” the 18th MEDCOM (DS) is tasked with providing mission command of Army Health Systems in support of unified land operations in a joint, interagency, intergovernmental and multinational environment in order to contribute to the security and stability of the region.

Col. Ann M. Sammartino (right), commander, 18th MEDCOM (DS), passes the company guidon to incoming HHC commander Capt. McKinsey Hulen during a change of command ceremony, Oct. 16. (Photo by SFC John Brown, 18th Medical Command)

Col. Ann M. Sammartino (right), commander, 18th MEDCOM (DS), passes the company
guidon to incoming HHC commander Capt. McKinsey Hulen during a change of command ceremony, Oct. 16. (Photo by Sgt 1st Class D. John Brown, 18th Medical Command)

To fulfill this mission, the 18th traveled the Pacific in support of nine combined exercises like Ulchi Freedom Guardian, Cobra Gold, Balikatan and Angkor Sentinel in 2015, but this is only a small part of the 18th’s role in the Pacific.

The 18th MEDCOM (DS) also visited more than a dozen partner nations in order to provide assistance in a variety of subjects. In Nepal, for example, Soldiers conducted subject matter expert exchanges on preventative medicine and behavioral health topics (as they relate to disaster relief) with the Nepalese armed forces.

The unit also provided assistance to the People’s Army of Vietnam (VPA) on numerous occasions in 2015 as the VPA continue to build their internal medical capacity to that of a level 2 medical treatment capability, which will be a significant support for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief within the region. The project, which started in late 2014, will continue throughout the coming year.

Brig. Gen. Patrick Sargent, Commanding General, Regional Health Command – Pacific, provided his vision and guidance for the 18th Medical Command (DS) to the officers and senior noncommissioned officers participating in an off-site planning conference at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Oct. 1. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class John D. Brown)

Brig. Gen. Patrick Sargent, Commanding General, Regional Health Command – Pacific, provided his vision and guidance for the 18th Medical Command (DS) to the officers and senior noncommissioned officers participating in an off-site planning conference at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Oct. 1. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class John D. Brown)

Additionally, the 18th provided nursing and hospital administration subject matter expert exchange assistance in Mongolia this past April to share knowledge with members of the Mongolian Armed Forces. Topics for discussion included nursing triage, care of ventilator patients, combat stress control, medical equipment maintenance and lifecycle management.

In total, the 18th MEDCOM (DS) participated in nearly two dozen Army Health Systems-related engagements throughout the Indo-Asian Pacific region in 2015 to assist partners in building health-related capacities and capabilities.

While continually working with our partnered nations, the 18th also welcomed a new commander, Col. Ann M. Sammartino, July 10. For Sammartino, one of the first orders of business was to ensure the command was properly aligned to support the transition of Regional Health Command-Pacific while also supporting U.S. Army-Pacific, U.S. Pacific Command, and the U.S. Army Medical Department.

18th MEDCOM

18th MEDCOM

Sammartino challenged her leaders to re-evaluate the unit’s mission, re-evaluate long-term training and engagement strategies, and focus on maintaining and improving individual and unit readiness for all aspects of the 18th MEDCOM (DS). This was done during a weeklong planning conference at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam,

As a result, the 18th MEDCOM (DS) wrapped up 2015 with a reinvigorated unit readiness program for 2016, increased awareness of health systems throughout the Pacific and further solidified a firm foundation from which to expand partner-building capacities.

In 2016, the18th MEDCOM (DS) will begin preparing for engagements with an increased number of countries in the Indo-Asian Pacific region, continue to participate in combined exercises throughout the region and simultaneously implement strategies to enhance individual and unit readiness.

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Category: Change of command, Exercises, Leadership, News, Training, Year in Review

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