By Ellen Crown, US Army Medical Materiel Agency Public AffairsNovember 8, 2018
Bringing together the newest with the most experienced medical logisticians in the Army, experts from U.S. Army Medical Materiel Agency visited the Army Medical Department Center and School, U.S. Army Health Readiness Center of Excellence, to enhance training for officers joining the medical logistics community.
The one-day visit, scheduled each quarter, is informally called "USAMMA Day." USAMMA subject matter experts in fielding, modernization, centralized contingency programs and medical maintenance spend the day with the students to walk them through tactical and strategic logistics scenarios they are likely to encounter at follow on assignments.
"The information the students learn in that eight-hour block is priceless," said Lt. Col. Travis Pamenter, Director of the School of Medical Logistics and Chief of the Logistics Management Branch at the AMEDDC&S HRCoE. "Without the instruction provided by USAMMA, our medical logistics officers would not have the skills sets and practical applications needed to enhance operational readiness and accomplish the health services support mission in both our Army units and those we support in the joint forces."
According to Pamenter, the Army created the medical logistics course to provide a baseline knowledge of medical logistics principles, operations, planning and the procedures for applying these concepts in an operational environment. The training is designed to prepare junior officers and transferring mid-grade officers to meet the qualifications of a health services materiel officer.
USAMMA Southern Regional Manager Rick Bower said he has been participating in these quarterly "USAMMA Days" for several years and is motivated to mentor the next generation because he sees the value for the students and USAMMA.
"A lot of the questions we would normally receive through email are answered in the classroom and these Soldiers take this knowledge back to their units," said Bower. "It is easier to answer questions and concerns when I'm doing a face-to-face with these Soldiers."
Explained Bower, "The biggest misconception amongst the students is that USAMMA is this great big warehouse that just has Medical Equipment Sets (MES) on the shelf waiting to be fielded. Once we show them a picture of our office building and explain to them the way we order and build the MESs, that misconception is quickly gone."
These sessions also provide valuable insights for USAMMA, said Bower, "I can bring that feedback back to my leadership and use it to improve our business practices to better assist and support the Warfighter."
Pamenter added that USAMMA Day also provides mentoring connections for new medical logisticians.
"The students feel a sense of ease in communicating with USAMMA and gain a better understanding of the processes and capabilities available," Pamenter said. "With this being an eight-week course, the fact we can have USAMMA come for an entire day is vital to the medical logistics community from the beginning, which starts right here in the AMEDDC&S HRCoE."