11st Medical Brigade Uncase Colors
by Spc. Fabian Ortega
13th SC(E) Public Affairs
The 1st Medical Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) along with the 61st Multifunctional Medical Battalion (Provisional) and the 502nd Dental Company held their color uncasing ceremony October 27 at 13th SC (E)’s Guidon Field.
The uncasing ceremony marked an official return from their war time mission as all three units returned to Fort Hood.
While in theatre, 1st Med. Bde. maintained command and control of one ambulance company, a Navy Expeditionary Facility, two preventive medicine detachments, a medical logistics company and one veterinary detachment spreading from Kuwait, Qatar and Djibouti in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Serving in OIF, the 1st Med Bde established a theater transient-hold detachment that returned nearly 1,000 coalitions forces back to duty and treated sick and wounded Soldiers by ensuring rapid medical care.
“It was a diverse mission, a multi service mission, coalition mission, but most importantly a life saving mission,” said Col. James. S. Rice, commander of the 1st Med. Bde. speaking before an audience at the unit’s uncasing ceremony. “It involved state of the art clinical, logistical, dental, evacuation, preventive medicine and combat strength, indeed the full spectrum of health protection missions from Iraq and Kuwait , Qatar and Djibouti,” said Rice.
Also, the 1st Med. Bde. managed a post deployment health assessment team and put preventive measures in place for an avian influenza epidemic scenario.
Rice spoke to the importance of the 1st Med. Bde. mission and the impact all three units had while deployed.
Most important is that the 1st Med. Bde., 61st MMB and the 502nd are responsible for treating over a quarter of a million patients, said Rice.
“The vast majority of those patients returned to duty and continued the mission, fulfilling the motto conserve the fighting strength,” he said.
The 61st MMB (Prov) had a heavy hand in helping patients return to duty.
The 61st MMB (Prov) took over command and control of five support medical companies, two ground ambulance companies, five preventive medicine detachments and a headquarter and headquarters detachment totaling over 600 Soldiers.
Soldiers from the 61st MMB provided medical treatment and evacuation to all echelons above division units to 79 Forward Operating Bases throughout a 400,000 square kilometer battle space in support of Multi-National Forces – West. At these FOBs’ the 61st accomplished 140,000 patient clinic visits.
Also the 61st MMB provided 160,000 miles of ground ambulance support to combat logistics patrols, performed over 15,500 Post Health Assessment Surveys and provided over 13,800 immunizations in support of the Multi-National Corps – Iraq efforts.
Rice spoke to audience members and reminded them that medics are Soldiers first, but that their health support mission never faltered.
“Like soldiers across Fort Hood and indeed across the Army, these soldiers have overcome difficulties from harsh terrain and severe weather,” said Rice. “They have surmounted obstacles of indirect fire and roadside bombs to ensure the health of the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and coalition forces in support of the Global War on Terrorism,” he said.
The 502nd Den Co. (AS) was responsible for over 130,000 coalition forces dental needs, completed over 30,000 patient visits, executed over 120,000 dental procedures and yielded over 12,000,000 dollars worth of dental services.
Rice left his Silver Knight brigade with a few words of praise.
“Silver knights of the 1st Medical Brigade, you have done your mission well,” Rice said. “I thank you and your families for you dedication to the Army, to the country and the mission at hand.”
The flag uncasing marked the 1st Med Bde, 61st MMB, and 502nd Den. Co. official return home from combat operations in support of OIF.