By Capt. Kristen WalterJune 19, 2018
Fifty-nine Soldiers from Task Force Med 47, composed of Soldiers from the 47th Combat Support Hospital, 62nd Medical Brigade, 593rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command, returned home to Joint-Base Lewis-McChord after a nine-month deployment Tuesday morning.
The Soldiers from Task Force Med 47, who deployed in September, were welcomed home at 4 a.m. during a ceremony at the Washington Army National Guard Readiness Center on JBLM. Family members, friends, fellow Soldiers and command leadership were in attendance.
Task Force Med 47 was commanded by Col. Robert F. Howe and Command Sgt. Maj. Jason D. Holcombe (from September to December) and Command Sgt. Maj. Kristy J. Cortner (December to June), was tasked with supporting Operation Inherent Resolve in Iraq.
"You all share in whatever success we enjoyed forward, because with a clear conscious of mind, we were able to do a lot more, and you helped contribute to that," said Howe, the commander of 47th Combat Support Hospital.
During the deployment, Task Force Med 47 operated a combat hospital in Baghdad.
"Task Force Med's goal in Baghdad was to stand ready to save every joint or coalition service member or civilian that presented at their doorstep, often at the patient's darkest hour," said Col. Robert D. Forsten, 62nd Med. Bde. commander. "As a medical brigade, this remains our most noble calling, and I am proud to report to Task Force Med, that you did not fail and did your part to support the mission of our joint coalition team."
During the deployment, over 1,000 patients were treated by the Soldiers in America's Combat Support Hospital. Every patient treated by Task Force Med 47 survived, as Forsten observed, to receive second chances at life.
"Patient care is an intensively human endeavor and requires complex knowledge and skills in the best of environments, let alone in austere and challenging circumstances," said Forsten. "America's CSH accomplished this with great success."
Task Force Med 47 supported the entire coalition forward from eight different units, representing eight different countries, and at times up to 11 different locations in Iraq, Syria and Jordan.
"The complexity of the mission was pretty amazing, and each and every one of these Soldiers contributed faithfully to that mission, and that mission was life-saving," said Howe. "We had up to 400 Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and civilians, that made up Task Force Med, deployed."