FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii -- United States Army, Pacific welcomed a new member to its ever-growing family.

The 18th Medical Command (Deployment Support) unfurled its colors in an activation ceremony held on historic Palm Circle Nov. 25.

The unit becomes the Army's first deployable medical support command and the last of the Theater Enabling Commands to activate for U.S. Army, PacificAca,!a,,cs transformation to an expeditionary, campaign quality force meeting the needs of the U.S. Pacific Command.

The 18th MEDCOM (DS) is an enabling force for the commanding general of the U.S. Army Pacific for health support, medical logistics, evacuation and humanitarian services in both combat and response to natural disasters.

Lt. Col. Chadwick Bowers, commander of 18th MEDCOM (DS), and Command Sgt. Maj. Timothy Shelton, command sergeant major of 18th MEDCOM (DS), unfurled the colors to officially activate the unit.

Aca,!A"Soldiers of the 18th Medical Command, you look magnificent and I extend to you my admiration and heartfelt appreciation for all that you have accomplished in a very short time span, just over 100 days,Aca,!A? Bowers said, Aca,!A"and all that you will continue to accomplish as we move forward in achieving our mandate of full operational capability.Aca,!A?

According to Bowers, the mission of the unit is an important one.

Aca,!A"TodayAca,!a,,cs ceremony is special because of what it means to U.S. Pacific Command and U.S. Army Pacific,Aca,!A? he said. Aca,!A"The activation of the 18th MEDCOM is the end of a long process that began several years ago when the Army realized the need for regionally aligned Medical Command and Control HeadquartersAca,!a,,c, expeditionary Aca,!" capable of deploying forward in theater to support the Combatant Commander and Joint Task Force Commander as necessary.Aca,!A?

The unit will take on numerous roles, including:

Providing the USARPAC Commander with planning and capabilities focused on theater operation plans, contingency plans, current operations, the Theater Security Cooperation Program and Homeland Defense.

Continuity and efficiency of Force Health Protection requiring familiarity with the region.

Deploying to support requirements throughout the Pacific area and serving as the medical force provider for USARPAC.

Synchronizing and executing the continuous, regional Force Health Protection mission.

Monitoring both emerging disease threats, such as the emergence of multi-drug resistant falciparum malaria, drug-resistant scrub typhus, avian influenza and re-emerging diseases such as tuberculosis and cholera within the Pacific AOR for the USARPAC Commander.

Maintaining visibility and utilization of regional medical infrastructure and treatment capabilities.

Accomplishing Medical Army Support to other Services.

Partnering with the USARPAC Surgeon and training Host Nation and Multi-national medical units within the Pacific AOR through three primary methods including subject matter expert exchanges, medical readiness training exercises and combat first responder training.

Finally, familiarization and coordination between PACAF's Theater Patient Movement Requirements Center (TPMRC) and the 18th Medical Commands Theater Patient Movement Center.

The 18th MEDCOM (DS) was originally the 18th Medical Command (Theater) before casing its colors in Seoul, South Korea and transferring its heraldry and lineage to Fort Shafter.

Aca,!A"On behalf of the officers, non-commissioned officers, and Soldiers of the 18th Medical Command,Aca,!A? Bowers said to the dozens of Soldiers and Family members in attendance, Aca,!A"we all look forward to serving with you and adding to the already honorable lineage of the 18th Medical Command and USARPAC.Aca,!A?

The unit will be tested right away as it provides medical command and control to units deploying to Japan this week in support of Yama Sakura 55.

18thMEDCOM01 - Lt. Col. Chadwick Bowers salutes with Command Sgt. Maj. Timothy Shelton after unfurling the colors during the 18th Medical Command (Deployment Support) activation ceremony on historic Palm Circle Nov. 25.

18thMEDCOM03 - The 18th Medical Command (Deployment Support) Color Guard retires the colors after the activation ceremony held on historic Palm Circle Nov. 25.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16