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NEWS | Aug. 23, 2021

JBSA Army medical personnel participate in Forager 21 exercise in the Pacific

By David DeKunder 502nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

The U.S. Army Medical Center of Excellence at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, or MEDCoE, and the Army Capability Manager-Army Health System, or ACM-AHS, participated in the Forager 21 exercise in the Pacific supporting Army components from July 9-Aug. 6.

Two teams, consisting of both MEDCoE and ACM-AHS personnel, deployed for the exercise, which focuses on rapidly deploying a force to protect Guam, a strategic site in the Pacific as part of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command.

Forager 21 is one of two annual supporting exercises, along with Pacific Iron, supporting Defender Pacific, a large-scale effort to align the U.S. with partner nations in the Pacific.

More than 4,000 service members, including those from JBSA, participated in the three-week exercise. MEDCoE was one of seven commands to support Forager 21.

The Army components supported by the deployed JBSA Army medical teams in Forager 21 included the 18th Medical Command Operational Command Post in Guam, the principal medical operations headquarters in the Pacific, and the Multi Doman Taskforce, which is tasked with defeating a potential enemy’s capabilities within the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command region.

Maj. Beatrice Kearney, Army Capability Manager for Army Health System patient administration officer, said the MEDCoE and ACM-AHS teams’ performance in the exercise in supporting Army components were based on the framework of the Army Health System, a set of interdependent and interrelated systems requiring continual planning, coordination and synchronization in effectively and efficiently clearing the battlefield of casualties, while still providing a high standard of care to wounded or ill troops.

“Army Capability Manager-Army Health System and MEDCoE played an important role in identifying capability gaps across the domains of doctrine, organizations, training, materiel, leadership and education, personnel, facilities and policy during observation of the Forager 21 exercise, in order to improve and develop future capabilities of units assigned to missions within the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command region,” Kearney said.  “The assessment was critical in order to assess how the 18th Medical Command is postured to fight as the theater medical command in large scale combat operations.”

In addition, Kearney said the teams focused on five functional areas during Forager 21, including command and control, evacuation, medical logistics, treatment and Force Health Protection, which encompasses measures in preventing sickness and injury among troops on the battlefield.

Col. Joselito Lim, Army Capability Manager for Army Health System director, said what the ACM-AHS and MEDCoE teams learned during the Forager 21 exercise will help the Army and Army medicine in future conflicts.

“As the users’ representative for capability development across the domains of doctrine, organizations, training, materiel, leadership and education, personnel, facilities and policy, Army Capability Manager-Army Health System support to the exercise is so vital for force modernization efforts,” Lim said.

“The assessments and observations at Forager 21 are critical for Army Capability Manager-Army Health System to understand and be the honest broker for the user throughout the process of capability development,” Lim added. “As MEDCoE progresses with force modernization for Army Medicine and the Army, the capability being developed accounts for the user and ensures our medical force is trained, manned, and equipped to win our nation’s wars in the future fight.”

ACM-AHS was previously aligned under MEDCoE, a subordinate unit to the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, or TRADOC, as the TRADOC Capability Manager.

As of Nov. 1, 2020, ACM-AHS was realigned with operational control to the Army Futures Command, still co-located with MEDCoE at JBSA, with administrative control remaining with TRADOC. On Oct. 1, 2021, ACM-AHS will complete the transition to the Futures and Concepts Center, Army Futures Command.