REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- U.S. Army Medical Logistics Command is driving changes that will help units maintain medical readiness at their home station so they can operate at the speed of war.
"MEDLOG in Campaigning," a two-day event organized by AMLC Sept. 13-14 at U.S. Army Materiel Command headquarters at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama, aimed to tackle Class VIII challenges, such as non-standardized catalogs and decentralized materiel management which may inhibit accurate forecasting.
“Think bigger than yourself and figure out the problem of the Army tomorrow, not today. We don’t want to be late to the need. Every single equity is important and what you come up with here today is crucial,” said Brig. Gen. Ronald Ragin, AMC’s deputy chief of staff for logistics and operations.
The concept of “MEDLOG in Campaigning” is about posturing the Army to be medically ready to transition quickly from peacetime in a home station environment to an active operational environment.
With readiness as a top priority, the off-site’s purpose was to develop support frameworks for Class VIIIA distribution, materiel management, maintenance and information technology system integration to work within the current Army Sustainment Enterprise software solution, which is Global Combat Support System-Army.
“We need to train as we fight,” said Col. Tony Nesbitt, AMLC commander.
“We, as the Army, don’t do business in campaigning as well as we do business in combat," Nesbitt continued. "Distribution, materiel, maintenance and IT need to enable each other, and we need to get to the point where campaigning and combat mirror one another.”
"MEDLOG in Campaigning" is a culmination of over nine months of work from 16 different agencies, including stakeholder commands and joint partners, such as Defense Health Agency, Defense Logistics Agency, U.S. Forces Command, U.S. Special Forces Command, Army Futures Command, Army Medicine, Combined Arms Support Command, U.S. Army Reserve Command, along with AMLC and its higher headquarters, Communications-Electronics Command and AMC.
“This is an enormous capability that is important to our military. We now must fine tune it,” Ragin said. “As an Army, we must get better with using the technologies available the way we should and be more innovative.”
While looking at the functional areas of materiel management, maintenance, distribution and information technology, each operational planning team tackled roadblocks, such as cost, manning and timeframes.
The teams then focused on creating a concept of support that integrates medical materiel procurement and distribution within the U.S., including Hawaii and Alaska, at supply support activities.
Jorge Magana, director of the U.S. Army Medical Materiel Agency’s Medical Maintenance Management Directorate, said that the off-site allowed for the medical maintenance work group to be able to present the recommendation for a phased approach to medical maintenance in campaign.
“This latest off-site will help medical maintenance by filling that gap and codifying the support to the operational forces require while in campaigning prior to competition,” Magana said.
For materiel management, the development of a standardized joint catalog is a critical next step, as it will ensure that Army Medical Enterprise sets, kits and outfits are consistently procurable and predictable, as well as delivering cost effective materiel readiness to meet the Army’s warfighting requirements.
“This off-site laid the foundation of a ready Army logistics supply chain that will enable demand-based strategic stocks to increase the responsiveness of medical logistics and health care on the battlefield,” said Leigh Anne Alexander, director of AMLC’s Integrated Logistics Support Center.
Alexander said that having all stakeholders in one space allowed each team to work collaboratively and enabled real-time feedback from the other work groups.
"Each of these lines of effort are intrinsically interconnected," Alexander said. "It would be impossible to enact this whole-of-Army effort without integration across not only the solution sets, but also the many stakeholders involved."
Being able to map a process of order fulfillment from the point of requisition through receipt across multiple Army and joint business systems, with representation from each of the major systems involved, was key, said Pete Ramos, a logistics management specialist for AMLC.
“We had started to develop this picture via Teams and phone calls prior to the off-site. The opportunity to sit at a table over the course of two days provided us the opportunity to refine the drafted product in real time, with buy-in from all representatives,” Ramos said.
Following the off-site, a concept of operations will be executed to support the directed framework of Gen. Edward Daly, AMC commanding general, for the integration of Class VIIIA and MEDLOG within the Army Sustainment Enterprise.
“We’re one step closer to achieving the ability for medical logistics functions across the Army’s operating force to be executed in the same Army business systems that are supporting other logistics functions,” Ramos said.