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32nd Medical Battalion (Logistics) (Forward)

In February 2008, the 32nd Medical Battalion (Logistics) (Forward) was inactivated in a ceremony at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, as part of the transformation of the 44th Medical Command to the US Army's modular force structure.

The mission of the 32nd Medical Battalion (Logistics) (Forward) was to, on order, deploy by air, rail, or sea; move to a support base; organize for combat health logistics support, and provide direct support Class VIII supply, optical fabrication, blood storage and distribution, and direct support/general support medical maintenance in support of a corps sized force. It would be prepared to support the combat health logistics mission by conducting split-base missions.

The 32nd Medical Battalion (Logisitics) (Forward) was originally constituted in the Army of the United States on 1 September 1943, as the 32nd Medical Depot Company, and activated in October 1943 at Fort Knox, Kentucky. It deployed to Europe, where it participated in 5 campaigns in World War II. It was redeployed to Camp Bowie, Texas, where it was inactivated in November 1945.

In October 1954, the unit was redesignated as the 32nd Medical Depot and allocated to the Regular Army. It was activated in December 1954 at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, and served there under the command of Brooke Army Medical Center for 11 years.

The Depot was deployed to Vietnam in October 1965 and served there until 1972. It participated in 15 campaigns of that war, earning 2 meritorious unit commendations. After serving in Vietnam, the Depot returned to Fort Sam Houston in September 1972.

The Depot was relocated to Fort Bragg, North Carolina on June 1975. On 21 June 1978, the Depot was redesignated as the 32nd Medical Supply, Optical and Medical Maintenance (MEDSOM) Unit. In October 1983, the MEDSOM participated in Operation Urgent Fury in Grenada, providing Class VIII support to XVIII Airborne Corps medical units. In December 1989, forward elements of the 32nd MEDSOM were deployed to Panama to provide medical supply support for units participating in Operation Just Cause.

In August 1990, the 32nd MEDSOM deployed to Saudi Arabia and provided class VIII supply, optical fabrication and medical equipment maintenance support to all forces deployed in support of Operation Desert Shield. It subsequently provided support to the units of XVIII Corps during Operation Desert Storm. The unit returned to Fort Bragg in April 1991. The MEDSOM was inactivated on 18 September 1992, and reactivated that day as the 32nd Medical Battalion (Logistics) (Forward).

In September 1992, the newly formed 32nd Medical Battalion participated in Hurricane Andrew relief operations in Miami, Florida, providing the major class VIII distribution and control point for all participating medical agencies. In December 1992 and January 1993, the 32nd Medical Battalion deployed its Forward Distribution Company to Somalia in support of Operation Restore Hope. In total, the Battalion participated in 2 rotations that supported Operation Restore Hope spanning from December 1992 to March 1994. The unit was awarded the Joint Meritorious Unit Award for its humanitarian support.

As of mid-2001, the 32nd Medical Battalion was supporting Humanitarian Relief in Kosovo and Bosnia.

On 27 February 2005, the commanding general of the Army Medical Department Center and School (AMEDDC&S), Major General George Weightman, along with the Commanding General, 44th Medical Command, Brigadier General Elder Granger, charged Task Force 261 Area Support Medical Battalion, 32nd Medical Battalion (Logistics), and 36th Medical Battalion (Evacuation) with forming a mutlifunctional medical battalion headquarters during Operation Iraqi Freedom 04-06 and testing the "proof of principle" theory. The intent of the concept was to provide solid feedback and recommendations to the AMEDDC&S and the Directorate of Combat and Doctrine Development (DCDD) on the design of the MMB Headquarters.

Overall, the subsequently task force led by the 261st Medical Battalion successfully tested the multifunctional medical battalion headquarters concept. There was no doubt that the Army Medical Department had developed an organization capable of providing scalable, flexible, and modular health service support in support of the Unit of Action and Unit of Employment forces. While the 261st Medical Battalion was subsequently transformed into a multifunctional medical battalion, the 32nd Medical Battalion remained as a medical logistics battalion.




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