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28th Combat Support Hospital
28th Combat Support Hospital (Airborne)
"China Dragons"

The mission of the 28th Combat Support Hospital is to deploy worldwide in order to provide level III health service support to joint and/or coalition forces engaged in full spectrum operations. It would also be prepared to assume Medical Task Force Command and Control and conduct split based operations as required.

The 28th Combat Support Hospital was first constituted on 25 May 1943 in the Army of the United States as the 28th Portable Surgical Hospital. It was activated on 14 June 1943 at Fort George G. Meade, Maryland. During World War II the unit served in the Asiatic Pacific theater and participated in the China Defensive and China Offensive campaigns. The the unit earned its moniker as the "China Dragons." Following the end of the Second World War, the 28th Portable Surgical Hospital was inactivated in India on 20 December 1945.

The unit as redesignated on 18 April 1967 as the 28th Surgical Hospital and allotted to the Regular Army. The Hospital was activated on 25 July 1967 at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. The unit was reorganized and redesignated on 21 December 1972 as the 28th Combat Support Hospital, becoming operation as an inflatable Medical Unit Self-Contained Transportable (MUST) hospital.

In 1990, the 28th Combat Support Hospital was the first Army Hospital to be deployed and operational in support of Operation Desert Shield, and also participated during Operation Desert Storm. The 28th Combat Support Hospital crossed into Iraq to support XVIII Corps and continued to provide medical care to US Soldiers and Iraqi POWs, as well as civilians 30 days after the termination of hostilities.

In August 1992, the 28th Combat Support Hospital deployed to Homestead, Florida in support of the Hurricane Andrew Relief Operation. In September 1994, the 28th Combat Support Hospital deployed to Haiti in support of Operation Uphold Democracy. In October 1995, the 28th Combat Support Hospital deployed to St. Thomas, Virgin Islands in support of the Hurricane Marilyn Relief Operation.

By 2000, the 28th Combat Support Hospital was assigned to Fort Bragg, North Carolina under the Command of the 55th Medical Group, 44th Medical Brigade (Airborne). Its mission was to provide medical support to general classes of patients within the combat zone.

The unit was authorized 33 Officers, 2 Warrant Officers, 159 PROFIS, and 430 enlisted personnel. The 28th Combat Support Hospital had a 24 member subordinate unit, the 528th Medical Detachment (Combat Stress Control), which was reactivated in December 1992. Other units subordinate to the 28th Combat Support Hospital included the 44th Medical Detachment (Pathology Team), the 62nd Medical Detachment (Eye Team), and the 207th Medical Detachment (Neuro-Surgical Team). The 28th Combat Support Hospital assisted by providing these units guidance, assistance, and evaluation during fielding exercises. The 28th Combat Support Hospital also had associations with 7 Reserve component units: the 399th Combat Support Hospital, 1872nd Medical Detachment (Eye Surgical Team), 1878th Medical Detachment (Head and Neck Team), 1979th Medical Detachment (Neurological Team), 1883rd Medical Detachment (Infantry DZ Medical Team), and 1963rd Medical Detachment (Infantry DZ Medical Team).

The Hospital's 296 bed capacity included 96 intensive care beds, 140 intermediate care beds, 20 neuropsych beds, 40 minimal care beds, emergency treatment area, dental section, dispensary, 4 Surgical Suites, 2 X-ray rooms, pharmacy, blood bank, and laboratory. The Hospital was equipped with Deployable Medical System (DEPMEDS) equipment, which was first fielded in 1991 while the 28th Combat Support Hospital was deployed to Saudi Arabia. DEPMEDS was primarily composed of expandable shelters and TEMPER tents that were linked together by passageways, which allowed the entire structure to be climate controlled.

Additionally, medical equipment and associated support equipment (e.g. illumination, power distribution, and water distribution) allowed the hospital to function on the same level with fixed facilities. Treatment specialties authorized for the hospital included internal medicine, general medicine, psychiatry, emergency medicine, orthopedic / thoracic surgery, gynecology, oral surgery, and radiology. The 28th Combat Support Hospital was staffed to provide command, management, and administrative support through a headquarters platoon, a patient administration section, vehicle maintenance, medical maintenance, medical logistics, communications / IMO section, and nursing services. The 28th Combat Support Hospital also had 2 unique internal elements: Hospital Unit Forward (HUF), which was capable of quickly moving into an area with a Task Force and providing immediate medical care on the ground and an 84 bed deployable package that was capable of providing medical and surgical support.

During peacetime, the mission of the 28th Combat Support Hospital was threefold. The hospital maintained a "fit to fight" readiness posture in support of the XVIII Corps Rapid Deployment Force. Personnel assigned to the 28th Combat Support Hospital provided medical support for other units and activities, to include staff augmentation at Womack Army Medical Center in specialized treatment areas. Lastly, the 28th Combat Support Hospital supported Fort Bragg Garrison details considered necessary for security, operations and maintenance of the post.

In 2001, the 44th Medical Brigade (Airborne) was reorganized and redesignated as the 44th Medical Command. As part of the transformation, the 55th Medical Group was inactivated and its units reassigned directly to the new command. Also in 2001 the unit deployed to Bosnia as the Task Force Medical Eagle command headquarters and hospital element for the NATO-led Stabilization Forces (SFOR) reotations IX and X in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

In March 2003, the China Dragons returned to Southwest Asia in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, establishing a 44-bed hospital in support of the 3rd Infantry Division and 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) while they captured Baghdad and toppled Saddam Hussein's regime. The Hospital split and occupied Ibn Sina Hospital, a former Iraqi Ministry of Defense hospital in Baghdad, and a smaller hospital in Tikrit.

The 28th Combat Support Hospital returned to Iraq in September 2006 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom 06-08, once again conducting split-based operations at Ibn Sina and Mosul. The China Dragons returned home in November 2007 after 15 months of duty.

In 2008, the 28th Combat Support Hospital became the last medical Echelon-Above-Brigade-Combat Team (EABCT) airborne unit in the Army, serving as higher headquarters to 4 Airborne Forward Surgical Teams at Fort Bragg. The China Dragons conducted their final airborne operation before deployment in September 2009 when the Command Team, Primary Staff, Company Commanders, and Senior NCOs jumped into Camp Mackall, North Carolina and earned Chilean jump wings.

The China Dragons deployed in October 2009 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom 09-11. Medical Task Force 28 consisted of 6 Direct Reporting Units, over 700 Soldiers and Airmen, and operated at 16 different locations in Central and Southern Iraq.




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