CAMP CARROLL, South Korea -- Soldiers with the 563rd Medical Logistics Company loaded up and hit the road to test its transition-to-hostilities readiness on the Korean Peninsula as part of a field training exercise in August.
During the Aug. 15-22 exercise, called Operation Maverick Lead, the unit completed a pair of long convoys, moving over 100 pieces of medical equipment and over 80 tons of Class VIII medical materiel to forward-operating distribution points.
Over 70 Soldiers, including 63 from the 563rd MLC, took part in the exercise to drill medical materiel and maintenance support procedures during a simulated scenario in response to a threat or attack.
“This exercise affirmed that the 563rd is ready for (transition to hostilities, or TTH),” said 2nd Lt. Phat Huynh, platoon leader and warehouse officer in charge for the unit. “We had two convoys that were over 160 miles and this ensured that our vehicles are up to the standard and can handle deliveries of Class VIII in TTH.”
With standing armistice and TTH missions, the 563rd MLC provides Class VIII medical materiel, maintenance and optical fabrication support to U.S. Forces Korea, or USFK, and joint forces on the Korean Peninsula. The unit operates under the U.S. Army Medical Materiel Center-Korea, a direct reporting unit of Army Medical Logistics Command.
Among the goals of the exercise, the unit dispersed to various locations across Korea Peninsula, where they carried out fleet movement, set up and maintained communication links and transported Soldiers, equipment and supplies, including in zero light conditions.
“The rapidly evolving COVID-19 environment further tested our systems and procedures by raising demands exponentially,” said Capt. Kirk Proctor, commander of the 563rd MLC.
Proctor said the unit successfully navigated the scenario despite challenging weather conditions and heightened health protection declarations by USFK, “adding realism to the training being a real-world event yet forcing leaders to remain agile with the adversity that the condition level brings.”
In response, leaders had to adjust on the fly, limiting the number of passengers per vehicle, along with altering loading plans, time lines and team assignments.
“Through all these obstacles, Soldiers came together through a common purpose and shared understanding which enabled the organization as a whole to meet the mission,” Proctor said.
Sgt. Benedick Aguiguin, a non-commissioned officer with the 563rd MLC’s forward-deployed team, called the overall experience “great,” saying it really helps to simulate what the unit would encounter during a real-world event.
Throughout the mission, Proctor said his “Log Dog” team embodied the operation’s name, “Maverick,” a reference to a leader who is independent, critical and decisive, creating a ripple effect of forward change and setting an example for others.
“It is exercises like Operation Maverick Lead that enable the relationships of trust for our customers to ‘know,’ whether it’s armistice, COVID-19 or transition to hostilities, the 563rd MLC can deliver and exceed requirements,” he said.