FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. – Medical and Dental teams from Blanchfield Army Community Hospital spent six weeks at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin this summer supporting readiness for U.S. Army Forces Command Exercise Pershing Strike ’21.
BACH demonstrated its command and control of medical and dental Soldier readiness processing operations and Role I medical care for deploying and mission support force Soldiers during Pershing Strike ‘21.
“Pershing Strike ’21 is a Level III mobilization exercise that, among other things, enables the Army to test Mobilization Force Generation Installations (MFGI), like Fort McCoy, on their ability to rapidly mobilize large groups of the Reserve Component Forces for deployment,” said Col. Vincent Myers, Blanchfield Army Community Hospital commander. “BACH is responsible for the medical and dental aspect of the mission and maintains a reserve medical readiness processing site at Fort McCoy that may be quickly activated when needed.”
For BACH, the mobilization exercise involved activating the SRP to process more than 1,000 Reserve Soldiers, which included those sent to Fort McCoy for training, as well processing two units for real world deployments.
Representatives from Blanchfield went to Fort McCoy in June and began activating the site. They activated and sustained the facilities and information technology systems at the site and validated three Army Reserve Medical Support Units and one Army Reserve Troop Medical Clinic unit assigned to augment medical and dental operations.
“Our team’s responsibilities included privileging Reserve component health care providers, training and granting access to electronic health records, and training and certifying qualified personnel on COVID-19 swabbing and shipping requirements,” said Sgt. 1st Class Jamie Hendzel, who served as the non-commissioned officer in charge at BACH's Fort McCoy site.
Although it was an exercise the medical and dental processing was real. The personnel at the SRP needed to conduct pre-deployment health screening and validate the medical and dental readiness of the Soldiers coming through the site. That included eye exams, audiology screening, immunizations, labs, and meeting with medical providers.
Additionally BACH staff had to ensure effective COVID-19 mitigation, monitoring and treatment procedures were established.
“Overall it was a very successful mission for our medical teams and the opportunity to work alongside our Reserve partners. We enabled medical readiness for those Reserve Component Soldiers and we demonstrated our ability to support readiness across the entire medical Force,” said Myers.