USAMMCE Meets Tight Deadline to Help Better Equip Afghan Security Forces
Staff with the U.S. Army Medical Materiel Center - Europe raced to successfully build and begin shipping ground ambulance sets to Afghanistan in early March to help Afghan security forces treat injuries suffered during anticipated heavy fighting this summer.
In late January, the Office of the Command Surgeon NATO training mission - Afghanistan, requested USAMMCE to build 325 ground ambulance sets for the Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police in 30 days.
"We were faced with some challenges as we had a very short time to complete the sets," said USAMMCE's commanding officer, Col. Thomas C. Slade.
According to Materiel Management Division Chief Lt. Col. Sean McMurry, the center modified business processes to meet their deadline. Management divided the ordering of supplies across two divisions and staff continuously assembled the kits, adding materiel upon arrival. McMurry added that their biggest challenge was obtaining IV fluids.
"Due to a shortage [of IV fluids] in the States, our prime vendors couldn't supply us, but we solved the problem by ordering directly from the manufacturer in England. This allowed us to ship the first 60 sets on 10 March," said McMurry.
For their part, biomedical technicians with USAMMCE's Clinical Engineering Division played a critical role in the mission by inspecting and testing each set's procured suction apparatuses.
Joint Plans and Program Division Project Manager Joe Robinson noted that to assist the end user in easily locating items, the team packed each set uniformly and included pictographs.
According to Maj. Bruce Argueta, Chief of JPPD, the sets were flown into Bagram Air Base and transported by ground transportation into Kabul where they were turned over to the Afghanis.
Of the 50 to 60 civilian employees and Soldiers from USAMMCE who played a role in the effort, Slade stated, "It was a great team effort that required a lot of flexibility."