By Spc. Michael Vanpool, 101st Sustainment BrigadeMarch 24, 2011
BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan - The 101st Sustainment Brigade Troop Medical Clinic expansion project was unveiled at a ribbon cutting ceremony here, March 23.
The project combined the old TMC with an adjoining B-Hut to expand the number of treatment facilities, add an administrative area and make the waiting area larger.
"Before the expansion, it was cramped," said Sgt. Nicole Bowe, a medic with the 101st Sust. Bde. "We expanded for a bigger patient waiting area, added more treatment rooms and are finishing up a pharmacy on the outside."
The TMC provides service for personnel assigned to the brigade who need regular checkups, sick call and general health care. Medics assigned to the TMC also go on convoys that the brigade and 17th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, a battalion assigned to the brigade during their deployment, conduct to deliver cargo and supplies throughout Regional Command East
The Medical Operations section and surgeon cell for the sustainment brigade has expanded in personnel as well during the deployment, said Navy Chief Petty Officer Trey Hauptman, the noncommissioned officer in charge of the TMC. Besides the chief, the staff also include Air Force medical personnel.
The Airmen and Chiefs come from various bases, posts and stations to combine their efforts here on Bagram. They join the Soldiers who deploy with the brigades. "The personnel are a giant conglomerate of individual augmentees," Hauptman said.
From installations in Florida, Texas, Hawaii and everywhere in between the Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen come together on Bagram to provide health care for the Lifeliners, and subsequent sustainment brigades.
"Having all these services together is the most important part," Hauptman said. "Regardless of Army issues or Air Force issues or Navy issues, we can accomplish the tasks and mission."
The tri-service medics came together to complete the expansion project, which the main tasks included consolidating two B-Huts, providing a walkway between them and adding wall for the separate rooms.
The 101st Airborne Division and 101st Sust Bde. repair and upgrade teams guided the medics during the construction of the TMC, Hauptman said. The medics did most of the work, with professional advice coming from the R&U teams.
"I helped do what needed to be done, from cutting wood to electrical work to painting," Bowe said. "I enjoyed making this place bigger and better for us and the next unit that comes in after us."
The TMC shut down their sick call operations for eight short days to give time for the overhaul of the buildings. While construction on an adjoining pharmacy is still underway, the TMC resumed operations immediately after the ribbon cutting ceremony and began seeing patients without delay.
The medics received the Army Commendation Medal for their efforts on the renovation TMC project. The medal is considered a rare achievement for Sailors and Airmen.