CAMP CARROLL, South Korea -- U.S. Forces Korea has directed all Department of Defense activities on the Korean Peninsula to order their medical materiel through the U.S. Army Medical Materiel Center-Korea.
USAMMC-K, a direct reporting unit to Army Medical Logistics Command, serves as the theater lead agent for medical materiel, or TLAMM, for the region.
USAMMC-K Commander Lt. Col. Marcus D. Perkins said the mandate, issued in November 2021, will improve readiness by ensuring the TLAMM receives a more consistent “demand signal.”
Perkins said this will help the materiel center better plan, purchase, stock and distribute necessary medical materiel to support joint forces during armistice as well as the event of a transition to hostilities.
One of four TLAMMs around the globe, USAMMC-K serves as the hub for acquisition, storage and distribution of medical materiel, as well as provides medical maintenance support and optical fabrication services for its area of responsibility.
Over the past nine years, Class VIII materiel purchases made by units through sources other than the TLAMM totaled between $10 million and $12 million annually, Perkins said. By not using the TLAMM, leaders could not see the total demand or plan accordingly to support medical supply needs throughout the Korean theater.
“This weakens the TLAMM's ability to respond not only for a transition to hostilities but also for contingency and armistice missions,” Perkins said. “These are tactical decisions that individuals aren’t aware of that have operational implications.”
Now, USAMMC-K will serve as a single distribution point to provide medical materiel support to theater medical forces, while ensuring tactical units are integrated into the medical supply chain.
Perkins said the new process provides clear direction to units stationed on the Korean Peninsula, where personnel turnover can be high, potentially leading to a lack of awareness about the TLAMM, its purpose and available resources.
“Our business processes have been revamped to focus directly on our mission to support the theater,” he said. “We are looking at what we are required to do and trying to become experts at that.”