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62nd Medical Brigade

The mission of the 62nd Medical Brigade is to organize, train, equip, deploy, and command and control medical forces in support of global contingencies and provide full and direct force health protection operations in support of forces engaged in full spectrum operations.

The 62nd Medical Brigade was first constituted on 19 December 1942 and activated on 25 January 1943 as the 62nd Medical Battalion, Motorized, at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. On 15 Septmeber 1943 the Battalion was broken up, and it's elements reorganized as Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 62nd Medical Battalion; 578th Ambulance Company, Motor; 501st and 502nd Collecting Companies; and the 635th Clearing Company. The companies thereafter had separate lineages. The Battalion was transferred to Camp Kilmer, New Jersey, in January 1944, which facilitated its movement to England in February 1944. The Battalion deployed to France in June 1944, and then served in Belgium, Holland and finally Germany. The Battalion served in Germany from December 1944 until September 1945. During it's services in World War II, the 62nd Medical Battalion participated in 4 campaigns: Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, and Central Europe and was inactivated on 13 November 1945 at Camp Patrick Henry, Virginia.

Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 62nd Medical Battalion was again activated on 1 October 1956 in Germany, and on 8 October 1957 it was redesignated Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 62nd Medical Group. The Group served there until June 1968 when it was transferred to Fort Lewis, Washington.

For over 20 years, the 62nd Medical Group participated in training events with a keen focus on wartime readiness and mission accomplishment. The quality of it's training was tested during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm in Southwest Asia and Operation Restore Hope in Somalia. Over a period of 3 months in lat 1990, most of the 62nd Medical Group deployed on a tour of Southwest Asia. Units within the Group were responsible for the retirement of a medical unit self-contained transportable (MUST) hospital and implementing a deployable medical system (DEPMEDS) issued in theater. Concurrently, they provided quality health care; implemented and managed large-scale food service sanitation, industrial hygiene, and water quality surveillance programs, and established the premier model chemical decontamination site in the theater.

In December 1993, 62nd Medical Group deployed in support of Operation Restore Hope in Somalia. The Group provided Corps level medical service and support, to include being single item manager for Class VIII for all U.S. Forces in the theater of operations from D+40 to D+135. The Group also provided for Echelon III medical support and MEDEVAC for the combined forces in the theater. Areas of operation included Mogadishu, Baledogal, Kismayo, Bardera, and Belet Uen. Redeployment operations began on 11 April 1993 and were completed on 28 April 1993.

After redeployment from Southwest Asia and Somalia, elements of the 62nd Medical Group excelled in several training events including rotations at the Joint Readiness Training Center and National Training Center, Exercise Cobra Gold, and Exercise Cascade Sage. Individual units from the group provided real world support in Albania, Bosnia, Macedonia, Surinam, Cuba, Honduras, Paraguay, Columbia, Kenya, Korea, Kuwait, Thailand, Somalia and after Hurricane Andrew in Florida, Hurricane Mitch in Nicaragua, flooding and forest fires in Washington.

On 16 October 2001, the Headquartesr and Headquarters Detachment, 62nd Medical Group was redesignated to the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 62nd Medical Brigade at Fort Lewis, Washington. The unit received the newly designated Brigade Patch and a new mission of providing medical care echelons above corps level. Subsequently, units in the Brigade deployed to designated locations to support Operation Enduring Freedom.

The 62nd Medical Brigade began initial planning for deployment as the Medical Brigade for Task Force Ironhorse, 4th Infantry Division from Fort Hood, Texas. The 62nd Medical Brigade was one element of the Task Force planned to enter Iraq through Turkey. When the Northern option dissolved, the 62nd Medical Brigade deployed to Kuwait in February 2003, where it received its change of mission from V Corps.

Traveling 900 kilometers through Kuwait to Mosul, Iraq, the 62nd Medical Brigade made it quicker and safer than any other Combat Service Support unit in theater. At end state, Task Force Steadfast provided echelon above division combat health support to the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). The multi-component Task Force had representation from the National Guard, Reserves, and Active Component that provided command and control, hospitalizations, ground and air evacuation, preventive medicine, combat stress, medical logistics, and area medical support. The Brigade Headquarters redeployed to Fort Lewis in August 2003, while the last element of the Brigade returned on July 2004.

The 62nd Medical Brigade received orders for a second rotation in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom 04-06 in June 2004. The 62nd Medical Brigade began planning for deployment as the sustainment Theater of Operations Medical Command and Control. The Brigade deployed to Kuwait in December of 2004, as the headquarters element of a multi-component task force which included, Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine elements from the Active and Reserve component. The task force provided Level III Hospitalization, veterinary services, prentive medicine, mental health, combat stress, logistics, ground and air evacuation operations throughout Central Command (CENTCOM) Area of Responsibility. Level III Hospitalization was performed by Expeditionary Medical Facility (EMF) Portsmouth and Dallas (USN); veterinary services were performed by the 993rd and 64th Medical Detachments (US Army); preventive medicine services were performed by the FDPMU-E (USN); mental health services were performed by the COSTAF (USAF); combat stress services were performed by elements of the USN; logistical support was performed by Forward Team, 6th MMLC and the 551st Medical Company (USA Army); ground medical evacuation was performed by the 514th Medical Company (US Army); and air medical evacuation was performed by the 236th Medical Company (US Army).

The 56th Medical Battalion (Multifunctional) was subsequently assigned to the Brigade, becoming the command and control element of a number of its companies and detachments. As part of a reorganization of air ambulance units into the general support aviation battalions of the new modular force combat aviation brigades, the 54th Medical Company (Air Ambulance) was inactivated.




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