While much of the world was beginning a period of self isolation due to COVID-19, one Combined Arms Center warrant officer was among a team of Soldiers heading away from home on a very high-profile mission to provide medical life-saving equipment to the armed forces.
Chief Warrant Officer 4 Samitioata S. Roberts, the Senior Property Accountability Technician for the Combined Arms Center, deployed to the United States Army North at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, as part of the Joint Force Land Component Command (JFLCC) for DOD’s Coronavirus 2019 Response Team.
The COVID-19 Response Team included medical and logistical support from the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps from both active, guard and reserve components who were all working closely with federal, state and local partners to help the American people in their time of need.
For his role, CW4 Roberts received the Joint Service Achievement Medal. The award was presented in recognition of his meritorious services and technical competence as a member of the J4 Sustainment Readiness Division (SRD) for JFLCC while deployed to Ft. Sam Houston.
In the award citation, Lieutenant General Laura J. Richardson, Commander, United States Army North (Fifth Army) and Senior Commander of Fort Sam Houston and Camp Bullis, recognized CW4 Roberts for being “instrumental in providing logistical oversight, management of critical medical supplies and synchronizing efforts in transporting medical life-saving equipment to all forces, in every region across the country. His efforts directly contributed to the JFLCC’s success in supporting DOD’s COVID-19 Response Team, USARNORTH, the United States Army and the United States of America.”
The JFLCC leads a joint force of more than 9,000 active duty service members, civilian employees, and contract employees. Military medical personnel were deployed in civilian hospitals in six states, including Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Louisiana and both U.S. Navy Hospital Ships Mercy and Comfort. In New York City, nearly 800 service members were working in local hospitals. The JFLCC continues to work in concert with FEMA and local and state authorities, to extend mission assignments where requested to sustain medical support to facilities in need.
During the crisis, the JFLCC was fully operational, working day and nights at the height of the global pandemic. In addition to the JFLCC headquarters, federal military forces staffing the Javits Center in New York City and Alternate Care Facilities in Detroit, Boston, Philadelphia, Dallas and New Orleans have concluded their medical support. After serving several months combatting the specter of a life threatening virus, service members like CW4 Roberts are returning to their home stations pending completion of redeployment requirements.
For his part, CW4 Roberts is happy to be back home with his wife Matalena Tuisamoa, daughter Melcia, and son Samoa Roberts.
“It was an absolute honor and a personal career highlight, serving our great Nation during this critical turning point of our lives, Roberts said.”