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1st Theater Sustainment Command

News Stories

"Desert Medics" look back on a successful deployment

By Sgt. Jimmie Baker | 1st Theater Sustainment Command | July 26, 2021


The 3rd Medical Command Deployment Support from Forest Park, Georgia, completed a transfer of authority ceremony between Detachment 3 and Detachment 10 here, July 16.

The event signified the successful end to Detachment 3’s deployment, which began November 12, 2020.

“We came together as a team to theater and got after the missions put before us,” said 1st Sgt. Kelvin Eades, first sergeant, Detachment 3, 3rd MCDS. “Now we come to the end of it and celebrate everyone’s hard work to show them that what they have been doing has not been overlooked.”

Led by Col. Jennifer A. Marrast-Host, commander, Detachment 3, 3rd MCDS, the unit sustained the 3rd MCDS’s mission of providing medical support to the service members in the U.S. Central Command’s area of responsibility.

With the Covid-19 pandemic affecting the USCENTCOM AOR, the 3rd MCDS is responsible for keeping Soldiers safe while maintaining commanders’ needs for unit readiness, and Detachment 3 established systems to support this requirement.

“We developed and managed the isolation facility and determined how we could safely decrease the amount of time a Soldier spent at the facility,” Marrast-Host said. “We moved that time based off the science we knew from 14 days to 10 days.”

This allowed commanders to have four more duty days back with their Soldiers to execute the mission.

The Desert Medics were also in charge of receiving, disbursing, and administering the COVID-19 vaccines throughout theater. A challenging task under unique circumstances here in USCENTCOM.

“The first set of vaccines entering theater were Moderna which needed to be frozen,” said Marrast-Host. “That is very new for the CENTCOM AOR since the previous flu vaccines only needed to be refrigerated.”

The 3rd MCDS established hubs throughout theater with the proper equipment and personnel to ensure the vaccines’ viability to forward units.

A command post jump to Jordan’s Joint Training Center, in conjunction with the 310th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), culminated the final mission for the unit. The exercise provided leaders with the ability to move a medical element throughout theater to support and sustain medical readiness to forward units.

“The exercise was a proof of concept for 3rd MED to conduct split-based operations and rapid redeployment of a headquarters element,” said Maj. Keith Horn, deputy chief of operations for 3rd MCDS. “We took a slice of our sections, pushed them forward, and established a tactical operations center, while exercising battle drills, so we can better find holes and places for improvement.”

Detachment 10 now has the 3rd MCDS mission and will capitalize on Detachment 3’s lessons learned and continue to refine systems and processes to maintain quality medical support to the AOR.