KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany –
“We have not done anything like this since the Cold War,” Col. Alexandre F. Migala said, Medical Support Unit Europe commander, Kaiserslautern, Germany and deputy commanding officer of the 3rd Medical Command (Deployment Support) located at Fort Gillem Enclave, GA.
Soldiers with the 3rd MC (DS), U.S. Army Europe and Africa, V Corps and MSU-E have combined efforts to create a Theater Medical Command in support of Defender Europe 21, beginning June 10. The proof of concept is moving forward during a command post exercise spanning the Atlantic Ocean and ends June 14.
“What the MSU-E does, is we help with medical mission command,” said Migala, speaking about their support to the USAREURAF Command Surgeon.
Medical Support Unit Europe has operational oversight of multiple areas, to include force health protection, health services support, medical logistics and medical operations.
“The proof of concept is manifesting; it is coming out very positive, Migala said.”
The team consists of active and reserve component personnel with a variety of occupational skill sets. For some, the experience is new and exciting.
“When I was active duty, we just got told what to do,” said Spc. Briggany Galicia-Reyes, a bio-medical equipment technician with MSU-E and Houston, TX native. “A lot of it is more officer stuff, but Maj. Velez is so helpful.”
Galicia-Reyes, recently married and a mother to 7-month-old baby, Dani Ella, is shadowing Maj. Israel Velez, MSU-E executive officer and cross-training on medical logistics. Most of the exercise happens in a secure environment and may at times be stressful.
“The atmosphere and attitude in the room is so positive,” said Galicia-Reyes. “They make me feel part of the team, even though what I am learning is above my pay grade.”
1st Lt. Jenna Snow, an entomologist with the 3rd MC (DS) and deputy environmental division chief for U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria, in Vilseck, Germany said this may be a new concept for the European Theater, but prior experiences prepared her for the challenge.
“It’s not my first rodeo,” said Snow. “I got pulled in and activated under Covid response, and we had to invent that wheel in real time.”
U.S. Army Europe and Africa stands ready to deter, and if necessary, defeat aggression from any potential adversary in Europe and Africa and is prepared to serve as a Combined Joint Force Land Component Command.
“The critical element of this exercise is the proof of concept and the importance of having medical command capabilities in theater that are established, well-coordinated and able to preserve the fight and conduct that mission in an effective way,” said Snow.
The joint cooperation reaches from Atlanta, GA to Grafenwohr, Germany, with round-the-clock operations. Some are meeting for the first time, but are taking the opportunity to build and strengthen bonds.
“It’s really great to be together with this amazing team, and I feel super grateful, because I am just a stone’s throw away in Bavaria. This is not hi and by; I get to continue this relationship and support throughout my tenure here in Europe," Snow said.