U.S. ARMY GARRISON-HUMPHREYS, PYEONGTAEK, SOUTH KOREA – 121st Field Hospital (121st FH) of 549th Hospital Center (549th HC) concluded a three month Field Hospital set up training on July 31, 2020. This training was conducted in a phased manner while supporting 549th HC’s current COVID response mission. As a finale of the training, a ROK-US combined demonstration took place on July 30th which resulted in strengthening the alliance and interoperability between the two medical counterparts on Korean Peninsula.
After conducting air-beam tent set up training on May 28th, 121st FH successfully completed building of the command post, a critical corridor and major care units such as the laboratory, pharmacy, blood bank, operating room, emergency room, Intensive Care Unit (ICU), and Intermediate Care Ward (ICW). This opportunity enabled the FH to develop and refine Tactics, Techniques and Procedures (TTPs). During this event, Soldiers not only improved their proficiencies on Modification Table of Organization and Equipment (MTOE) equipment and patient care in tactical environment but also enhanced their understanding of the FH Role III capabilities.
On July 30th, Soldiers were given three scenarios of injured Soldiers to respond with simulated medical care and showcased the FH’s agility and flexibility which allows to better support large scale ground combat operations. The Host Nation Partners, the Republic of Korea Army Office of the Surgeon General, the Armed Forces Medical Command, and the Korea Armed Forces Nursing Academy observed this training events witnessing the capability of the U.S. Army medical component in Korea Theater of Operations (KTO) reaffirming the ironclad alliance and mutual support between the two medical counterparts.
“It was a great opportunity for us to demonstrate our capabilities to our counterpart but also to have direct interaction with them to cross-educate our knowledge and skills with them” said Lt. Col. Chadwick Milligan, 121st FH Commander.
This training event also denoted how fast the 549th HC has adjusted within a year to the FH module to enhance combatant commander flexibility and deliver optimal healthcare support to the operational force. The upgraded modularity has increased capability to deploy field hospitals throughout the peninsula.
“549th Hospital Center’s mission is to build medical readiness through excellence in healthcare delivery and operationalize the medical ready force in order to support Eighth U.S. Army, joint and combine forces in defense of the Korean peninsula” said Col. Huy Luu, 549th HC Commander.
“As the only fully doctrinally organized hospital center in the Department of the Army, our staff, two subordinated field hospitals, and the four other detachments are fully committed to this mission” added Luu.
The 549th Hospital Center went through a conversion to the Field Hospital design in July 2019. It is now comprised of two FHs; the 121st FH and 502nd FH, Four Medical Detachments; 129th, 125th, 150th, and 197th, and finally the 135th Forward Resuscitative Surgical Team.
The FH design is based on lessons learned from more than a decade of combat that have reinforced the Army's need to have forward-based medical capabilities that are advanced yet also agile and logistically scalable. Traditional Combat Support Hospitals have proven to be too large and logistically difficult to deploy as a whole, which is why the Army has historically only deployed "slices" or sections of the Combat Support Hospital.
(Photo Credit: Sgt. Sean Averett, 121st Field Hospital Unit Public Affairs Representative)