Fort Sam Houston, Texas –
SAN ANTONIO, Texas – The primary mission of the 4th Expeditionary Sustainment Command is to provide logistical support to combat units in a deployed environment. However, the command headquarters mobilized for a unique, state-side mission in 2020. Soldiers from the 4th ESC mobilized in March 2020 to provide logistical support to military medical service providers and aid in the federal response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Among the mobilized 4th ESC Soldiers who supported this special mission was Capt. Paul Nitzsche. Paul is a mobility logistics officer. He mobilized with the 4th ESC’s Support Operation Section, where he planned, coordinated, tracked, and executed movements for medical personal supporting hospitals and community vaccination centers across the nation.
His wife, Capt. Holli Nitzsche, also mobilized to support the federal response to COVID-19. She served as a Clinical Operations Nurse with the Joint Force Land Component Command Office of the Surgeon (JFLCC Surgeon).
U.S. Army North serves as the Joint Force Land Component Command for all federal ground troops, including other service units serving on land as part of the DOD’s COVID-19 response.
“When the pandemic started, I got mobilized first, and shortly after that, Paul found out that he was mobilizing,” said Holli. She went on to add, “the first thing we did was make sure our three kids were okay. Once we got them settled with their grandparents, we headed to San Antonio [Texas].”
Paul and Holli met during a Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) training exercise at Fort Leonardwood, Missouri, in April 2008. Paul said, “I proposed in 2008, after about five months of dating.” The two got married in the year 2009, and they have been together ever since.
Despite having different daily tasks, Capt. Paul and Holli Nitzsche supported the same mission: to sustain state-run efforts and reduce the impact and spread of COVID-19. Paul said his focus was “ensuring that the medical service providers got safely to their mission locations.” Once they arrived, Holli helped military medical personnel meet the administrative requirements necessary to support state-run efforts.
Holli also mobilized with the 811th Urban Augmentation Medical Task Force (UAMTF) to Connecticut to support communities impacted by COVID-19.
Both Holli and Paul say they were “proud to be a part of a mission that had an immediate effect on people at home.”
The 4th ESC team supported over 4500 military medical professionals working in 71 hospitals in 51 cities through 14 states and territories. The team supported over 5100 medical personnel at 48 vaccination sites in 42 cities through 25 states and territories.
The 4th Expeditionary Sustainment Command is a logistical support unit based on Joint Base Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, Texas. The 4th ESC is one of four sustainment commands subordinate to the 377th Theater Sustainment Command, headquartered in Belle Chase, Louisiana.