FORT LEE, Va. – The Medical Capability Integration Directorate, in collaboration with the U.S. Army Medical Center of Excellence, hosted a Limited Objective Experiment examining the future of Patient Movement on Fort Lee, Virginia, June 6-9, 2022. Over 120 subject matter experts representing Army, Joint Services, and Department of Defense commands and agencies participated in the experiment.
Joseph Harmon III, Deputy to the Commanding General of the U.S. Army Medical Center of Excellence provided opening remarks emphasizing the importance of the exercise. Harmon stated, “This is a tough topic, but it’s critical to the future fight.”
The four-day event studied how the scope and scale of large-scale combat operations impact patient movement processes.
"None of us have had to deal with this kind of scale, but if you look at the history books, you see that lack of medical regulating cost lives in past conflicts," said Col. James Jones, MED CDID director.
Discussions concentrated on the complex problems that future forces will face as they are required to rapidly clear the battlefield of wounded soldiers, manage and regulate the flow of patients throughout the continuum of care, and optimize returning soldiers to duty.
“Clearing the battlefield is critical to continuing maneuver operations,” said David Guthrie, Maneuver Center of Excellence Deputy, Doctrine and Collective Training Division. Working closely with maneuver and sustainment counterparts ensures the Army Health System remains synchronized and integrated with maneuver modernization efforts.
According to Scott McConnell, Deputy to the Commanding General, Combined Arms Support Command, "Sustainment and Medical face a similar challenge in transitioning from a counterinsurgency mindset to a Large Scale Combat Operations mindset. We are going to have to be predictive and precise. In medical, this means precision in triage, medical regulation, evacuation, and returning trained soldiers to duty.”
The experiment utilized a series of operational vignettes and studied questions to facilitate discussion on medical regulating and evacuation roles and responsibilities from the Tactical Close Area through the Strategic Support Area. "Gone is the era of permanently established bases; we must assume everything on the battlefield is moving. To meet the needs of the future battlefield, medical has to transition to a concept of dynamic and mobile medical support," Jones stressed.
Army senior leaders received experiment results in an event out-brief and will be further shared through the Futures and Concepts Center and Army Futures Command. Future MED CDID events will continue to examine complexities within the Army's role in managing patient movement in distributed and contested environments.
"These are real problems that we have to solve, starting with events like this. Thank you for the work you are doing," said Maj. Gen. Michael Place, Commanding General, 18th Medical Command (Direct Support).
The MED CDID, under FCC within AFC, studies aspects of the Army Health System critical to preserving health, readiness, and combat power to support Army 2030 forces.