Medical maintenance
Soldiers assigned in support of the U.S. Army Medical Materiel Center-Korea perform maintenance on a medical device. (Photo Credit: Courtesy U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

CAMP CARROLL, South Korea -- Leaders at the U.S. Army Medical Materiel Center-Korea are sharpening their focus on medical materiel readiness to support a potential large-scale combat operation on the Korean Peninsula.

USAMMC-K, a direct reporting unit of Army Medical Logistics Command, serves as the theater lead agent for medical materiel, or TLAMM, providing joint medical logistics support to U.S. Forces Korea.

USAMMC-K leaders in recent years have actively worked to “right size” the organization and improve operational readiness by understanding capability gaps and requirements across the full range of military operations.

“By maintaining a shared vision across USAMMC-K, we have been able to make numerous improvements across every function of the organization, including processes, technology and staffing,” said Maj. William Wiltbank, USAMMC-K’s deputy commanding officer.

Changes have included realignment of internal resources, the establishment of a headquarters and headquarters detachment, or HHD, as well as additional personnel authorizations.

“Through their dedicated efforts managing the realignment of key functions and re-purposing (staffing) authorizations, the team was able to move the organization out of a peace time demand driven organization into one that is readiness focused and postured to support large-scale combat operations,” Wiltbank said.

What brought on this change?

In 2009, when the 16th Medical Logistics Battalion was disbanded and USAMMC-K was established as the TLAMM for USFK, the manpower structure was cut by nearly 25%. However, the mission never changed.

Wiltbank said USAMMC-K was required to “do more with less” as misaligned staffing caused challenges. The command team recognized changes needed to be made to better synchronize medical logistics support and better integrate into theater sustainment operations.

Part of that was adding a HHD structure, which enables USAMMC-K to have a single point of contact for individual and collective training management, as well as administrative support.

In this case, they had an existing unit -- the 563rd Medical Logistics Company, a tenant unit at USAMMC-K -- ready to assume that role.

“This frees up the center’s command team from spending time managing company-level tasks and responsibilities,” Wiltbank said, calling the relationship with the 563rd MLC “mutually beneficial.”

It allows leaders to combine training priorities and objectives of both units under one shared end state, along with providing the 563rd MLC with battalion-level authorities and access to increased personnel to support those training priorities.

Changes stemmed from a weeklong workshop this past summer shortly after Lt. Col. Marcus Perkins took command. He tasked the team to revisit USAMMC-K’s mission, purpose, vision and lines of effort, creating the basis for its renewed vision forward.

Since the workshop, USAMMC-K leadership, led by Perkins, has made it clear that the changes would require a top-down approach.

“As the TLAMM, in support of USFK, we have a clear mission to build the connective tissue across the entire joint force here in Korea to be able to assist commanders in driving effects,” Perkins said. “As professionals, we are committed to ensuring commanders can count on us.”