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NEWS | Jan. 6, 2020

Exercise Tests Army Medical Logistics Ability to Support Wartime Mission

By C.J. Lovelace

NORTHEAST ASIA -- Soldiers from the U.S. Army Medical Materiel Agency (USAMMA) participated in the 403rd Army Field Support Brigade medical exercise organized by the Eighth Army, which was completed Nov. 23, 2019.

For USAMMA, the exercise enabled the medical logistics support team to test if deploying forces could quickly draw equipment from Army Prepositioned Stocks-4 (APS) and set up an early-entry hospital element to support combat operations.

The 801st Combat Support Hospital, an Army Reserve unit out of Illinois, successfully completed the draw process in about three hours, according to Capt. Melisa Natapraya, commander of USAMMA Medical Logistics Support Team-Korea.

"I think, for us, it was a very positive exercise in that we saw the capabilities of USAMMA, as well as the APS site manager and his team to push a deployment package out," she said. "Had this been a real-world situation, I feel like they would have been able to move out in a sufficient amount of time to do their mission."

USAMMA is a direct reporting unit under Army Medical Logistics Command (AMLC), headquartered at Fort Detrick, Md. The agency oversees medical assets at five APS sites around the globe.

In total, close to 200 personnel took part in the exercise, including about 150 from the 801st, Natapraya said.

The medical logistics teams got to work a few days prior to the hospital unit's arrival, going over battle drills, pulling equipment the unit would need and ensuring everything was in functioning order.

"I think it confirms we have a great process in place," Natapraya said. "It validates that our process works and had it been a real-world situation, we would have been ready to go to war."

She credited Regional Manager Rufus Pruitt and the APS team in Korea, including Site Manager James Gerrard, for their hard work and attention to detail that ensured the hand-off process ran smoothly and efficiently.

Several Army medical leaders, including Brig. Gen. Tracy L. Smith, commander of the 18th Medical Command, and AMLC Commander Col. Michael B. Lalor, also were on hand to observe activities.

"It was a great exercise and learning experience for us to see the capabilities within this organization that support the warfighter," Natapraya said.

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