New request procedures for sustainment-level medical maintenance

By C.J. LovelaceJanuary 29, 2024

Medical maintenance
A biomedical equipment technician works on a medical device at the U.S. Army Medical Materiel Agency’s Medical Maintenance Operations Division at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. (Photo Credit: C.J. Lovelace) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT DETRICK, Md. -- When U.S. Army units need sustainment-level maintenance support for their medical equipment, the U.S. Army Medical Materiel Agency is there to help.

USAMMA’s Medical Maintenance Management Directorate, or M3D, recently updated its operating procedures to consolidate all maintenance activities under the umbrella of Global Combat Support System-Army, or GCSS-A.

The change aims to increase visibility and transparency of work orders at the unit level, as well as realign the overall function under the same enterprise resource planning solution as other Army commodities.

“It’s been going well,” said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Richard Hendricks, deputy chief of M3D’s Maintenance Operations Center-Medical, or MOC-M. “Everyone is getting used to the new system and procedures. As we get used to it, we’re also learning different things and ways we can improve.”

The MOC-M serves M3D’s “business cell” and the primary point of contact when a unit needs sustainment maintenance support for their medical devices, which is best reached at

The MOC-M synchronizes sustainment efforts and assists with the review of maintenance support requests, planning for associated work orders to optimize functional support and life cycle management costs. Services are then routed through USAMMA’s three stateside Medical Maintenance Operations Divisions, or MMODs.

“After you email the MOC-M inbox, we conduct an analysis and determine what services are needed and where we would typically provide those services,” Hendricks said. “Then, we will issue an RMA (return materiel authorization) number, which is essentially a tracking number for the service.”

Units must also send a digital copy of DA Form 5990 for each piece of equipment needing services. Hendricks said this form ensures that materiel is correctly cataloged within the GCSS-A system.

The unit will receive its RMA number and guidance on where to ship the equipment. The customer enters that information into the work center within GCSS-A.

“Our work center is essentially an inbox in GCSS-A where we receive all those work orders,” Hendricks said. “We tell all of our customers to label the box and the work order inside the box with that RMA number so that our MMODs can go into that inbox in GCSS-A and match the two together.”

From there, the MMOD creates an internal work order to complete the job on site before it is prepared for shipment back to the unit. Tracking information is then communicated to the unit so they have visibility and an estimated time of arrival for the return of their equipment.

Hendricks stressed the need to ensure units provide their Form 5990 and that they get their RMA number before sending in their equipment. Additionally, units must include all necessary accessories needed to operate, test and calibrate each device.

MOC-M Chief Joshua Varnes echoed Hendricks’ statement, adding that it’s important that all steps are followed to expedite services for units and, in turn, promote high levels of medical readiness.

“It’s also important to remember the whole goal behind this change,” Varnes said. “Our goal here is to increase visibility for the units and essentially consolidate two record-keeping systems into one that shows the entire maintenance lifecycle of a device.

“This enables commanders on the battlefield to see in real-time the maintenance status of their equipment, both at the field and sustainment level, and to be better equipped to assess their readiness levels,” he said.

To learn more about the new process instructions, visit

Checklist when requesting maintenance support from M3D:

  • Make sure you have an open work order for the device requiring MMOD support.
  • Clean and disinfect your medical device.
  • Contact the M3D Maintenance Operations Center-Medical (MOC-M) by email at for a return materiel authorization (RMA) number.
  • Receive RMA and shipping destination from MOC-M, enter information/work order into M3D work center in GCSS-Army and ship medical device.
  • Include all accessories needed to operate, test, and/or calibrate the unit. If possible, include manufacturer’s service literature when requesting maintenance on non-standard equipment.