Stocking supplies
A Soldier completes inventory of medical equipment and supplies stocked at Army Prepositioned Stocks 2 (APS-2) in support of European theater readiness. APS-2 includes more than 280 medical sets to support a wide range of operational medicine capabil... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

RHINE ORDNANCE BARRACKS, Germany -- U.S. Army Medical Materiel Agency leaders participated in a Sustainment Rehearsal of Concept (ROC) Drill on Jan. 16 to prepare for the kick off of DEFENDER-Europe 20, the area's largest military exercise in 25 years.

The sustainment-focused drill allowed participating units, including foreign partners, to work through the operational plan to expose "weak links" and create a "shared understanding" of what each unit would be doing.

"It's about creating a shared understanding of how we're going to support and which units will be responsible for specific support tasks," said Maj. Bryan O. Pamintuan, director of the Force Projection Directorate for USAMMA.

Continuity and understanding of the overall medical mission ensures the right people and resources will be in the right places at the right time across the European theater, according to Pamintuan.

"In Force Projection, we're not in charge of collecting potency and dated items after this mission, but we were in the same room as the people who are (the 30th Medical Brigade), so as a result, we know exactly what their plan is," he said. "At the end of the day, I have full confidence that if they have to be off somewhere, I could step in and continue the mission on their behalf."

Approximately 37,000 allied and U.S. service members are expected to participate in DEFENDER-20 this spring, including more than 20,000 deploying from ports in four states.

Arriving service members will fan out across the region to establish intermediate staging bases with multinational forces, draw about 13,000 pieces of Army Prepositioned Stocks from various locations and participate in annual training exercises.

The exercise aims to increase strategic readiness and interoperability by exercising the U.S. military's ability to rapidly move a large combat force of Soldiers and equipment from the continental U.S. to Europe and, alongside allies and partners, quickly respond to a potential crisis.

The U.S. Army Europe-led, joint, multinational training exercise, scheduled for April to May, supports objectives defined by NATO to build readiness within the alliance and deter potential adversaries.

Medical support plays a key readiness role in the overall exercise because it provides Soldiers with confidence to engage enemy forces knowing they have the protective equipment and care needed to sustain the fight.

"Soldiers know that should they ever get hurt in combat, they will receive the best medical care in the world," said Capt. Dennis Kim, deputy director of USAMMA's Business Support Office. "We support the warfighter by providing the confidence to fight."