Inspecting a ventilator
Biomedical equipment specialist Willie Kendricks conducts depot-level maintenance at Tobyhanna Army Depot, Pennsylvania, on a ventilator as the Army supports COVID-19 response efforts worldwide. Kendricks is employed by the U.S. Army Medical Materiel Agency, a direct reporting unit of Army Medical Logistics Command. (Photo Credit: Ellen Crown) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT DETRICK, Md. -- As Army Medical Logistics Command remains highly engaged in the worldwide COVID-19 response, leaders are also looking toward the future fight, balancing effectiveness with efficiency in times of constrained resources.

As a major subordinate to Army Materiel Command, AMLC’s mission is to project and sustain medical materiel capabilities for the Army and Joint Forces.

But in the fight against COVID-19, AMLC’s role has evolved to support not only the operational military overseas but also the homeland. In a quarterly update to AMC’s Commanding General Gen. Gus Perna on April 23, leaders acknowledged the work of AMLC, calling it nothing short of “herculean.”

“I am really proud of what you have done,” Perna said via video teleconference from AMC headquarters at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama. “And because you have done it so well, nobody knows you are doing it. That is indicative of the foundation you have set.”

AMLC Commander Col. Michael Lalor noted the ongoing efforts of the command’s three stateside depot-level maintenance facilities, which have completed over 2,300 work orders since January.

He said technicians have risen to the challenge by inspecting, repairing and returning to service hundreds of high-priority medical devices, such as ventilators, oxygen generators, defibrillators and patient monitors, as part of the whole-of-government response to the pandemic.

Lalor also said that the COVID-19 mission has highlighted several opportunities for process improvement, as the command has navigated supply hurdles and delivered on its promise of readiness.

In March, the command sent life-saving medical supplies for three Army hospital centers supporting New York and Washington -- two of the states hit hardest by COVID-19. The packages included potency and dated items tailored to each medical team’s needs -- everything from syringes and suction tubes to blood products and oxygen.

Lalor said the command is now evaluating how to customize a wider variety of these unit deployment packages to accommodate different hospital configurations and speed delivery. He said his team is keeping an eye on resupply and planning today for what will be needed tomorrow.

“As we watch this evolve, we’re going to adjust our approach,” Lalor said. “This is a process; not an event.”

Perna encouraged AMLC leaders to continue working toward innovative solutions and using data to drive decisions.

“Let us see ourselves,” Perna said, “and move forward.”