MIAMI, Fla.- The 256th Medical Company Area Support (MCAS) has taken on several important roles during the COVID-19 response.
Arriving in South Florida for duty during mid March in response to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ call to respond to the COVID-19 virus, the 256th MCAS has supported various operations in the 50th Regional Support Group (RSG) area of operations to ensure mission success.
The 256th MCAS’s role has been intricate and ever evolving. They have collected specimens, conducted quality assurance and quality control (QAQC), trained other Soldiers and civilians to serve as test administrators for Community Based Testing Sites (CBTS), Mobile Testing Teams (MTT) and walk-up testing sites.
“The 256th has proven that they have the technical skills, expertise, and rapid adaptability to execute every mission with the resources it has and at a moment’s notice,” said Army Maj. Jacqueline S. Zuluaga, 256th MCAS company commander. “Every member of the 256th has demonstrated true professionalism and 100% dedication to this mission."
The 256th MCAS has been instrumental in providing guidance to other units and its Soldiers have served as subject matter experts to Soldiers from other brigades who are also conducting MTT missions in different parts of Florida. They have served as liaison between hospital administrative personnel, laboratories, the Department of Health (DOH), nursing facilities, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Health and Human Services (HHS), local Emergency Medical Services (EMS), police, Department of Transportation (DOT), local fire rescue, and military personnel.
In support of the COVID-19 response the 256th designed and developed a detailed MTT and Mobile Testing Group (MTG T3) training program. They trained non-medical personnel such as truck drivers, infantry and military intelligence personnel to be part of medical teams. In order to complete mission essential tasks, the 256th trained 40 MTT members assigned to the 50th RSG and several trainers belonging to the 53rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team.
In addition to training personnel and Soldiers, the 256th also helped develop the standard operating procedures for CBTS, MTT and walk-up test site operations in South Florida.