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Strengthening Expeditionary Forces: The Vital Role of Army Medical Logistics

March 6, 2024 | By COL Deon Maxwell and SGM Andrew Colburn
“Infantry wins battles, logistics wins wars.” – General John Pershing

Our command recently participated in a battle staff ride in Europe focused on American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) efforts during World War I (WWI) under the leadership of General Pershing. Our group specifically focused on the Meuse-Argonne offensive which played a major role in the final fight that led to victory for Allied forces and the end of WWI. General Pershing’s vision concerning the importance of logistics in support of forward forces was well resourced across all commodities during WWI including medical supplies and equipment.
Throughout history, an integral part of delivering ready combat formations included posturing capable Medical Logistics (MEDLOG) support from the strategic support area to the battalion trains. This requires the deployment of MEDLOG enablers at every level of command to deliver ready units capable of supporting warfighter requirements at the speed of war in contested environments.
During the intricate web of military operations, the efficient functioning of expeditionary forces hinges not only on strategic prowess but also on the seamless logistics supporting them, especially in the critical realm of medical care. Among the various logistical components, effective MEDLOG support stands as a cornerstone in ensuring the wounded receives timely and effective care, even in the most austere and hostile environments. In this blog post, we delve into the indispensable role of Army Medical
Logistics in empowering expeditionary forces to project power forward on the battlefield.
Expeditionary forces are characterized by their swift deployment and flexibility in engaging adversaries across diverse theaters of operation. This agility demands a MEDLOG system capable of keeping pace with the dynamic nature of modern warfare as well as units being prepared for rapid deployment. From medical supplies and equipment to specialized personnel, every aspect must be meticulously organized and readily deployable to support frontline troops. 
Since 1951, the United States Army Medical Materiel Center Europe (USAMMCE) has provided effective MEDLOG sustainment to multiple combatant commands including the U.S. European Command (EUCOM). In support of patient care requirements, maintaining a resilient and responsive supply chain is paramount. USAMMCE’s mission encompasses the procurement, storage, and distribution of medical materiel, ensuring that essential supplies reach the point of need without delay. Moreover, data analytics, advanced tracking, and monitoring systems facilitates real-time visibility, rapid replenishment, and resource allocation based on operational requirements.
In the crucible of conflict, the success of expeditionary forces hinges not only on their combat prowess but also on the support mechanisms underpinning them. Army MEDLOG serves as a sustainment linchpin, facilitating medical enabler’s swift delivery of medical care at the point of injury.
MEDLOG leaders at every echelon of command must fully engage in support operational and readiness related requirements. We must ensure our medical enabling formations are trained, equipped, and ready to support current and future operational requirements. While the warfighter develops plans to engage the adversary, we must be proactive in enabling readiness and developing plans to provide rapid and responsive MEDLOG support to our formations.  
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