By SFC Christopher FinchamOctober 21, 2010
WIESBADEN, Germany - Soldiers, Family Members leaders and friends gathered at Wiesbaden Army Airfield Oct. 15, to witness and celebrate the re-designation of a nearly 70-year old medical company.
During the transformation ceremony in an airfield hangar, the 557th Medical Company publicly converted from a Ground Ambulance Company to an Area Support Medical Company - a change that became official Oct.16.
"An energy and excitement surrounds this company that is truly remarkable," said Capt. Adam Davies, the company commander. "The order calls this event a reorganization. It has also been called a transformation, a conversion, and a re-designation. Whatever we call it, one thing that is certain is that this event signals a significant change."
The change brings more than just a new guidon and title to the organization. The new mission adds new equipment, personnel and capabilities to the 557th. Field surgeons, physician assistants, behavioral health professionals, nurses, doctors, and medical logistics specialists are being added to the unit's formation along with the ability to execute dental, laboratory and radiology operations. The ASMC can now provide Level I and Level II medical support, and can hold and sustain up to 40 patients for up to 72 hours before evacuating them or returning a Soldier to duty.
"From a medical capability standpoint, the change this company is going through is drastic," said Davies. "Outfitted with the latest medical tools that army medicine has to offer, this lean medical package will be poised to meet any number of medical contingencies across the full spectrum of military operations."
The new personnel and equipment bring not only new capabilities, but also their own unique challenges as the unit transforms, according to 1st Sgt. Eric Smeed, the 557th Med Co. (AS) first sergeant.
"Integration of all these low density medical MOS's such as x-ray, lab, dental and how they interact with each other is a new challenge. But we will be able to bring all the care that any troop medical clinic can bear, including trauma support, and that critical life-saving capability far forward, on the edge of battle," Smeed said.
Davies now looks forward to establishing the 557th as the "best and most powerful area support medical company" in the world.
"Our vision is to be [US Army Europe's] premier deployable medical team, while fostering a climate of absolute pride and professionalism in all we do. Over the coming months we will do everything we can to set the conditions for this company's future success, remembering that our efforts during this important time of transformation will establish a legacy from which future successes may be obtained," Davies said.
Story and photos by Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Fincham, 30th MEDCOM Public Affairs NCOIC. For more information please contact him at the email addresses or phone numbers listed above.
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