1st Med Bde Holds Commanders Conference

Story by Sgt. Joel F. Gibson
13th SC(E) Public Affairs Office

FORT HOOD, Texas — Leaders of the 1st Medical Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), got together here to discuss mission requirements and training from Nov. 4 to Nov. 8.

The 1st Med Brigade is comprised of 33 units spread between Fort Hood, Fort Sam Houston, Fort Carson, Colo., Fort Polk, La., and Fort Bliss.

“The conference gave us an opportunity to come together as a group to plan for special missions and contingency missions,” said Maj. Tim Walsh, executive officer of the 1st Med Brigade.

The first day of the conference involved a strategic operations overview with a focus on the brigade’s primary ongoing missions.

“We’re responsible for severe weather response from June until November, but the National Level Exercise is ongoing, and we have subordinate units tabbed for that mission continuously,” said Walsh.

The first day of the conference concluded with an icebreaker at the home of Col. Robert D. Tenhet, commanding officer of the 1st Med Brigade.

The second day of the conference focused on unit training requirements.

“The high mission tempo, including our contingency missions and the Global War on Terror makes it important that we as leaders are able to get together like this and plan,” said Walsh.

Walsh said the 1st Med Brigade currently 12 subordinate units deployed in support of Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom.

“We brought in subject matter experts to brief the leadership on updates from the field,” said Walsh.

Day three of the conference was all about team building.   

The day started with a golf tournament on post, and concluded with a road to war briefing held at the 1st Med Brigade conference room.

“It was a great opportunity to bring the leadership together away from normal duty locations so we could focus on preparing our units and sharing information,” said Walsh.

The final day of the conference involved the quarterly training briefings and closing remarks by Col. Paul L. Wentz, commanding general of the 13th SC(E),

Wentz, focused on the difficulties many SC(E) units overcome during deployment, “The 1st Med, just like the 13th  Sustainment Command, is filled with unique, specialized units that are in high demand.  We deploy in units as small as a team of a handful of Soldiers in a blood detachment or movement control team, up through brigade headquarters.”

Wentz commented on the 1st Med Brigade’s recent Expert Field Medic Badge competition, “Any profession that creates standards so tough and so exacting that only 10 of 127 candidates at an EFMB competition achieve all standards is very, very demanding profession.  That is a testament to the care you provide our Soldiers on the battlefield.”

At the conclusion of the conference, Walsh said, “I think it’s been extremely successful and is definitely something we’re going to look to continue.”

Walsh added, “We had time to work through the issues, we had time for team building, and we had time to put faces to names, it was great.”