By Ms. Maria Yager (Army Medicine)February 16, 2018
FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. -- Soldiers from the 86th Combat Support Hospital "Eagle Medics" held an uncasing ceremony Feb. 15 at Hangar 3, officially ending the unit's nine-month deployment to the U.S. Central Command Area of Responsibility.
Col. Bruce Syvinski, 86th CSH commander and Command Sgt. Maj. Daryl Forsythe, the unit's senior enlisted leader, uncased the unit's colors signifying the unit's return from its medical mission supporting Operations Spartan Shield, Inherent Resolve and Freedom's Sentinel.
Operating out of the United States Military Hospital-Kuwait and outlying facilities in the AOR, the 86th CSH mission was threefold. The 86th provided mission command of assigned and attached medical units. It provided health service support capabilities for U.S. and coalition forces, staffing two Troop Medical Clinics, a 25-bed hospital, and damage control surgical teams and other medical capability across the CENTCOM AOR. Lastly, the unit provided force health protection capabilities including preventive medicine, combat and operational stress control, dental services and veterinary services.
"I think their impact on the Soldiers and commands in that part of the world was phenomenal," said Col. Paula Lodi, commander, 44th Medical Brigade, Fort Bragg, North Carolina. The 86th CSH based out of Fort Campbell, Kentucky, is one of three combat support hospitals under the 44th. "When I visited this team in Kuwait last August it was amazing to see them in action. Not just providing health service support and force health protection, but the pride in which they integrated with their mission partners and various higher headquarters, continually innovating to improve mission capability and their impact on the supported Soldiers," said Lodi.
Under the direction of the 86th CSH, USMH-Kuwait saw more than 17,000 outpatients at the Troop Medical Clinics at Camp Arifjan and Camp Buehring, as well as at the Specialty Care Clinic at Camp Arifjan. The Medical Regulating Officer coordinated more than 73 air-evacuation missions for 160 patients. The emergency room saw 2,200 patients. Operating room staff completed 58 surgical procedures. The ICU/ICW saw over 200 inpatient admissions and 52 post-anesthesia recoveries. The optometry detachment, manned by the 179th Medical Detachment (Optometry) saw 1,800 patients and fabricated 895 pairs of glasses. A USMH-Kuwait Public Health Nurse regulated and oversaw, the delivery of the influenza vaccine to all CENTCOM forces in Kuwait, successfully immunizing more than 15,000 service members. The unit provided a coordinator and medical subject matter experts for a virtual health initiative called HELP, Health Experts Online Portal. Using a web-based, secure portal to request and provide medical advice and patient information, the 86th coordinated support for more than 800 HELP cases and reducing unnecessary patient evacuations and movement by 40 percent. The unit also provided training in emergency medicine to surgeons, nurses and doctors coming into theater on a new technique used to stop serious bleeding.
"It was a good deployment for Eagle Medics. Command Sergeant Major Forsythe and I are extremely proud of what our Soldiers accomplished," Syvinski told the audience at the uncasing ceremony. "It's a feeling of elation. Coming home is part of it, but putting the organization back together is another important task to do and this uncasing ceremony symbolizes that. We are all back together and we can start functioning together, moving forward," said Syvinski.
Assigned to the 44th Medical Brigade, Syvinski said he is proud and thankful for his unit's supportive relationship with the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). "The support we get from Fort Campbell and (Major) General Poppas and the 101st is really outstanding and appreciated. It makes us feel like we are a part of them."
More than 220 Soldiers deployed with the 86th CSH, including six individual augmentees from Blanchfield Army Community Hospital. This marked the 12th deployment for the 86th CSH and will be its last. The unit is scheduled to transform to the 86th Field Hospital later this year.