04 May 2017

Soldiers from the 28th Combat Support Hospital travel to Sierra Army Depot in Herlong, California, to receive new medical equipment from the Medical Materiel Readiness Program March 29. Army released photo by Ellen Crown, USAMMA Public Affairs
USAMMA Leverages Medical Materiel Readiness Program to Reset Redeployed Unit
Ellen Crown, U.S. Army Medical Materiel Agency Public Affairs
The U.S. Army Medical Materiel Agency completed a mission at Sierra Army Depot in Herlong, California, April 4 to reset (i.e., replenish medical equipment) the 28th Combat Support Hospital.

The 28th CSH recently returned from a nine-month deployment to Baghdad, Iraq, where they left their equipment behind for follow-on units. Based on guidance and approval from the Office of the Surgeon General, the USAMMA completed the reset by leveraging its Medical Materiel Readiness Program, a centrally-managed program consisting of four CSHs worth of Class VIII (i.e., medical materiel) and Class VII (i.e., major end items to support setup and patient care areas of the hospital such as tents, power and environmental controls).

Soldiers from the 28th CSH traveled to the depot to take part in a joint inventory before the equipment and supplies were shipped to their home station at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

“The plan was to have a continuity of care so we would not degrade that ability for the fighting forces, so we left our equipment in place for the unit that followed on,” explained Capt. Antonio Wiggins, Bravo Company commander for the 28th CSH. “It is a big trust in the USAMMA to refield us so we can be able to do what we need to do in the future and get back to being combat ready.”

In a time when readiness is the number one priority in the Army, units such as the 28th CSH cannot risk being without life-saving medical materiel. The CSHs have provided unmatched Role 3 combat health support with a 98 percent survivability rate over the past decade—the highest in the history of American warfare.

From MMRP stocks, the USAMMA fielded approximately $9 million in medical materiel to the unit, according to USAMMA Logistics Management Specialist Robert Pringle.

“This was about readiness, in the time that the Army wanted them to be ready,” said Pringle. “This was the quickest and most efficient way to accomplish that [objective].”

This is not the first time the MMRP has been used to support deployed and redeployed units, including the 28th CSH. In 2009, the USAMMA deployed more than $4 million in medical assets from the MMRP in support of the 31st CSH deployment to Operation Enduring Freedom. In 2016, the USAMMA issued three dental medical equipment sets to the 28th CSH, making advanced dental care available to both U.S. and allied forces. The unique aspect of the 2017 mission is that unit Soldiers were able to travel to the depot and take part in the entire fielding process.

“I am excited that we have everyone here,” added USAMMA’s Chief of Centralized Contingency Programs Maj. Nikki Davis. “We are working through any challenges. We are having a great time and ensuring that we get them to a high state of readiness, and that is the overall goal.”

The MMRP, which began in 2007, ensures four centrally-managed CSHs are maintained at a maximum state of readiness for their entire lifecycle, from the point they are assembled through their use and until they are modernized or divested. A team of biomedical equipment specialists service the MMRP maintenance—significant equipment year-round—one hospital per quarter.

“If the equipment goes out to a Soldier, I know it is going to work and it is going to save someone’s life,” said MMRP Maintenance Manager Richard Burlison.

To reduce costs where possible, the MMRP focuses on efficiently managing maintenance, inventory, spare parts and storage. When compared with the costs of having to field and sustain all previous active companies and reserve CSHs, the MMRP reaps an annual cost avoidance for the Army of $12.3 million in reduced care of supplies in storage and approximately $500,000 in sustainment costs.

“I think it is a great mission, honestly, because we are out here not only trying to cut cost, [but also] to service equipment and cut down on what the unit has to do,” added Burlison.

The OTSG is the approval and release authority for the MMRP. For more information about the MMRP program, including request information, read Supply Bulletin (SB) 8-75-S7, Chapter 6 (available on AKO).
Watch a video about MMRP online at: https://youtu.be/V4Bdig50veU.

Check out the Army AL&T feature on MMRP online at: http://asc.army.mil/web/news-alt-jfm17-life-saving-life-cycle-management/.

The USAMMA is a subordinate agency of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, which is the Army's main medical materiel developer. The USAMMA's mission is to develop, tailor, deliver and sustain medical materiel capabilities and data in order to build and enable health readiness.
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