By Lt. Col. Jefferson Wolfe
7th Mission Support Command Public Affairs Officer
LANDSTUHL, Germany - Landstuhl Regional Medical Center's Deployed Warrior Medical Management Center bid farewell to one U.S. Army Reserve unit Nov. 9 and said hello to another.
The Soldiers of the 7227th Medical Support Unit, Det. 18, from Columbia, Missouri, completed a nine-month deployment of staffing the DWMMC. They handed the mission over to the 7217th Medical Support Unit, Det. 1, from Perrine, Florida, during a transfer of authority ceremony in the LRMC chapel.
'I am extremely proud of you and all you've accomplished during this time you've been here,' Maj. Gen. Mary Link said to the Soldiers of the 7227th MSU. Link is the commanding general of Army Reserve Medical Command based in Pinellas Park, Florida.
The DWMMC coordinates patient movement and medical care for service members and civilians who become wounded or ill while serving in Afghanistan, Iraq or other contingency operations. When patient care is concluded at LRMC, the DWMMC coordinates the patient's departure to either return to duty downrange or be medically evacuated for long-term definitive care in the United States.
The DWMMC was established in 2001 when the arrival of Wounded Warriors from Iraq to LRMC exceeded the capabilities of the LRMC Patient Administration office. Since then, it has been responsible for the care of more than 95,000 medically evacuated patients.
ARMEDCOM took over the mission from the Navy in 2004, Link said.
The 40 Soldiers of the 7227th MSU oversaw the transfer of about 1,200 patients from the U.S. Central Command, U.S. Africa Command and U.S. European Command theaters of operation, Link said. In addition, they were part of more than 1,300 patient discharges through the military transport system.
The Army Reserve unit fit in perfectly at the Landstuhl hospital, said, LRMC commander Col. Timothy Hudson.
'You became Landstuhl,' he said.
Lt. Col. Aaron Neal, the 7227th MSU commander, echoed that remark.
'We became a part of the legacy known as Landstuhl,' he said.
The Soldiers accomplished a lot in nine months, Neal said. They improved communications methods so that health care providers in theater could communicate about a patient's condition with LRMC and reach all the way back to Military Treatment Facilities in the United States.
Their efforts marked the first time, for example, this was possible from Kandahar in Afghanistan all the way back to Fort Riley, Kansas, he added.
'Be proud of your service and all of your team members and what you've accomplished here,' Link said.
She also challenged the 7217th MSU to keep up the momentum.
'You are now in the driver's seat, so go for it,' Link said.
'It is an honor and privilege to be in charge of the DWMMC,' said Lt. Col. Hugh D. West, the 7217th MSU commander.
The unit is grateful to have worked closely with the 7227th MSU during the transition period, he said.
'The 7217th is up to the challenge,' he added.