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Enabling Combat Power

Nov. 1, 2023 | By COL Marc Welde, AMLC Commander
I was recently asked the question, “What does AMLC do to enable combat power?”

Frankly, this could not be a more relevant time to focus on this topic, given the broad range of missions the U.S. military has faced in recent years.

From COVID-19 to the evacuation of Afghanistan civilians and our current operations in Europe, Asia and Africa, medical materiel is an essential part of mission support.

The diversity of these missions – from pandemic response to humanitarian support and military operations – shines a light on a common denominator: People.

The source of the Army’s strength is – and will always be – people.

As long as the Army deploys Soldiers into operational settings, AMLC must prepare to sustain fighting strength.

Medical logistics is a critical component to the calculation of combat power.

AMLC, medical planners and combat developers must calculate what resources medical practitioners will need to deliver care to Soldiers injured during military operations.

AMLC must also plan for force protection requirements, including complex and emerging threats such as chemical, biological, radiological, or even nuclear attack.

Additionally, AMLC must logistically prepare for the health care needs of those with non-battle injuries or illnesses because those elements can remove Soldiers from the fight and that directly affects combat power.

Perhaps the most obvious way AMLC enables combat power is through centralized management of contingency programs, including Army Prepositioned Stocks (APS) and Unit Deployment Packages (UDP). AMLC sustains these stocks of medical equipment and supplies to provide power projection capabilities to deploying units.

Another layer of AMLC’s support is through medical materiel centers in Europe and Korea that serve as Theater Lead Agents for Medical Materiel (TLAMM), as designated by the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on recommendation from the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), combatant commanders and branches of service.

AMLC’s two TLAMMs provide direct support to over 1,350 Joint forces and interagency customers in U.S. European Command (EUCOM) and U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) and U.S. Forces Korea (USFK). Annually, they execute more than $180M in medical materiel support to these customers, generating readiness for forces around the globe.

Today, AMLC plays a significant role in delivering ready combat formations.

But to keep the system working, Army medical logisticians at all echelons must stay integrated into operational planning.

If the medical logistics officer only shows up during a time of crisis, it is too late.

So, my call to action for all young Army officers reading this blog is: Do your homework now!

You get a seat at the table by having something to offer.

Be an expert in your craft but also understand Army operational planning at all levels. Fully appreciate how the commodity of Class VIII nests into the overall warfighting strategy. Communicate risk in an operational context.

Integrate yourself into the sustainment enterprise, so that you can leverage the best practices of other sustainers to provide courses of action for senior leaders.
Understand the box so that you can think outside of it.

Continuous learning drives self and team improvement, which ultimately leads to transformation. Don’t be afraid to introduce fresh ideas and implement novel solutions that improve MEDLOG’s ability to enable combat power.

Innovation doesn’t come without change.

Stay ready!

So, what do you think? How else does MEDLOG enable combat power?