PIRMASENS, Germany -- Soldiers at the U.S. Army Medical Materiel Center-Europe (USAMMC-E) worked efficiently to complete a restocking mission April 22, supplying Soldiers from the 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division with medical equipment and training.
Arriving in a Chinook helicopter, members of the 3rd CAB’s Air Ambulance Company turned in equipment, including ventilators and defibrillators, for newer and more modern devices to resupply the unit’s 15 MEDEVAC air crews.
In total, about 100 medical devices transitioned in just a few hours. Along with the new equipment, five flight paramedics received maintenance and operator training on the mission-essential devices while on the ground in Pirmasens.
“Our warfighters deserve the best medical care available, so it is important that 3rd CAB has the newest equipment available with proper training to utilize those devices to give the best care they can provide during their missions,” said Master Sgt. Hyun Kim, non-commissioned officer in charge of USAMMC-E’s Clinical Engineering Division.
Kim was quick to credit the combined effort of those involved, including the U.S. Army Medical Materiel Agency (USAMMA), U.S. Army Medical Materiel Development Activity, 3rd CAB and the 30th Medical Brigade.
“This was absolutely a collective team effort,” said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Anthony Keane, chief of the Clinical Engineering Division at USAMMC-E. “And the success was the ‘fruits of all our labor.’”
USAMMA and USAMMC-E are direct reporting units to Army Medical Logistics Command, headquartered at Fort Detrick, Maryland.
Master Sgt. Michelle Loftus, non-commissioned officer in charge of medical operations for the 3rd CAB, said most of the company’s equipment was near the end of its lifecycle, with some devices past 10 years old.
While working with maintainers from USAMMC-E and 30th Medical Brigade, it became apparent that replacement was needed, according to Loftus, who said that without new equipment life-saving patient care during critical MEDEVAC flights would be “greatly degraded.”
“This was a huge win for the MEDEVAC unit who must be consistently ready to take on any real-world medical mission, both during deployment and at home,” she said. “MEDEVAC is never just training; it is a constant real-world asset.”
Planning for the mission started in March, and the new equipment was shipped to USAMMC-E and readied for service in advance of the 3rd CAB unit’s arrival.
“The team on the ground at Pirmasens was professional, well organized and great to work with,” Loftus added.
Brian Swiss, USAMMC-E’s chief of staff, said the mission underscores the versatility of the organization and its partners beyond the distribution of Class VIII medical supplies, which has been especially important during the fight against COVID-19.
“USAMMC-E is at the forefront of medical equipment support to our medical units across the DOD,” he said. “The Clinical Engineering Team has strengthened already strong relationships with our customers during the pandemic.”