JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO, Texas —
As service members descended upon San Antonio to provide COVID-19 support to Texas hospitals, 502nd Logistics Readiness Squadron personnel were simultaneously conducting critical missions to ensure arriving health care workers were ready to relieve local hospitals and support communities across Texas.
The Deployment and Distribution Flight of the 502nd LRS supported arriving personnel for Urban Augmentation Medical Task Force-627, based out of Fort Carson, Colorado, and UAMTF-MEDCOM by providing lodging, transportation and other needed logistics.
“The Ground Transportation Element has been supporting the 4th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), or 4th ESC, UAMTF-627, and UAMTF-MEDCOM, based here, with 21 self-drive vans and sedans in San Antonio,” said Grace M. Cormier-Johnson, 502nd LRS executive director. “We have also transported over 570 medics for in-processing and lodging.”
The commander of UAMTF-627, Lt. Col. Jason W. Hughes, said the resources provided by the 502nd LRS were critical to their mission.
"The JBSA logistics team allowed us to immediately move out to our five locations with transportation assets,” he said. “They understood the criticality of our requirement, with multiple shifts at multiple facilities. Their help allowed us to get 78 physicians, nurses and medics into the facilities, prior to the peak to help sustain and save lives here in San Antonio."
In addition to ground transportation, Deployment and Distribution Flight personnel have assisted with Air Terminal Operations by offloading 88 medics and their baggage from one commercial aircraft and another 170 medics with eight tons of baggage from another, Cormier-Johnson said.
“Our highly-skilled workforce accomplished their assigned duties and responsibilities with such dedication, professionalism, and empathy, supporting our local San Antonio community and the communities of our great State of Texas,” she said. “Our workforce, our JBSA mission partners, and the City of San Antonio stood ready, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to receive all the augmentees in support of the Department of Defense COVID-19 response.”
In addition to the reception of task force personnel for local support, San Antonio is also the arrival hub for pandemic support personnel deploying to locations across Texas.
“The 502nd LRS’s Passenger Movement Element, in support of COVID-19 response activities, coordinated and scheduled 15 commercial charter buses for onward movement of 410 medics to six other employment locations within Texas,” Cormier-Johnson said.
“Our Plans and Integration Section supported the 4th ESC by validating all logistical bed-down and onward movement support requirements and validating the logistical feasibility of their Reverse Joint Reception, Onward Movement, and Integration, or RJROSI, Basic Concept of Operations,” she said.
As deployments in support of COVID-19 operations continue, the personnel at the 502nd LRS will sustain logistical support during augmentee arrivals and as they travel to their destinations to join the fight.
“The extreme importance of providing this type of logistical support to our assigned UAMTFs is two-fold,” Cormier-Johnson said. “It eliminates the stress and worries for the medical personnel to have to obtain or figure out where they will lay their heads to recharge, and how they will get to-and-from their assigned hospitals to aid and care for the citizens of San Antonio and elsewhere. Our actions allow these highly-skilled, medical professionals the ability to focus on providing critical, top-notch medical care to our citizens in need.”
U.S. Northern Command, through U.S. Army North (Fifth Army) as the Joint Force Land Component Command for all federal ground troops, remains committed to providing flexible support to the Federal Emergency Management Agency in support of the whole-of-America COVID-19 response. The 502nd LRS continues to deliver responsive and efficient logistics support to enable mission partner success as "America’s LRS - Supporting Those Who Serve!"