21st Combat Support Hospital
The mission of the 21st Combat Support Hospital is to train, deploy, and provide Level III combat health support and additional medical functional areas as task organized; and on order, provide Command, Control, Communication, Computers and Intelligence (C4I) for combat health support, in support of decisive combat and follow-on operations.
The 21st Combat Support Hospital was responsible for providing resuscitative surgert, stabilization, and medical evacuation care to injured soldiers during Operation Iraqi Freedom. In 2003, at the height of conflict, the 21st Combat Support Hospital provided Level III Combat Health Support in both Mosul and Balad, facing some of the most challenging medical cases and traumas from two of the deadliest regions of the conflict at that time. The hospital made history by being the first Combat Support Hospital to conduct split-based operations during combat with a 164-bed hospital in Balad and an 84-bed hospital in Mosul, enabling them to provide care for the soldiers in an area greater than 250,000 square miles.
To further add to the intensity of their situation, several mass casualty situations occurred during the 21st Combat Support Hospital's watch. The United Nations headquarters in Baghdad was bombed on 19 August 2003 and again on 22 September 2003, causing more than 10 casualties. In November 2003, a CH-47 Chinook transport helicopter was shot down near Fallujah, killing 16 Soldiers and wounding 20 more. Also, while searching for weapons of mass destruction, 31 Soldiers were exposed to hazardous materials and required treatment.
Soldiers of the 21st Combat Support Hospital, 1st Medical Brigade, 13th Corps Support Command, deployed to New Orleans to provide emergency Level III healthcare to civilian and military personnel in support of the repopulation efforts in the wake of Hurricane Katrina from 10 October to 14 November 2005. The 21st Combat Support Hospital took over operations being conducted by the 14th Combat Support Hospital out of Fort Benning, Georgia. The mission of the Hospital became essential because Charity Hospital, which had served the impoverished of New Orleans for more than 70 years prior to the storm, was damaged beyond repair by Hurricane Katrina. The 21st Combat Support Hospital took over the responsibility of providing emergency care to those previously served by Charity Hospital. The orders to deploy came at a time when the 21st Combat Support Hospital was already gearing up to go into a field environment. During the 21st's deployment to New Orleans, the unit was joined by more than 100 Reservists and Active component Soldiers who were part of the Professional Filler System (PROFIS).
The 21st Combat Support Hospital, 1st Medical Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) cased its colors at Fort Hood, Texas in April 2006 as it prepared to deploy in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Soldiers of the 21st Combat Support Hospital were deploying to provide detainee healthcare in the Iraqi Theater of Operation as part of Task Force 21. Task Force 21 Medical was made up of medical professionals and soldiers from 34 installations from across the Army.
Along with Romanian Healthcare providers, Task Force 21 was responsible for detainee care at Camp Cropper and Camp Bucca Theater Internment Facilities. They provided primary care through Level III and IV hospitalization to detainees and Coalition forces, and were responsible for Level I healthcare at Camp Ashraf. The Task Force also provided Level II healthcare at Fort Suse before it closed in September 2006. The Task Force helped transition operations from Abu Ghraib to Camp Cropper and coped with the expansion of Camp Bucca from a stating detainee population of 8,500 to a camp capable of holding 15,000. The 21st Combat Support Hospital returned from the deployment in April 2007.
The 21st Combat Support Hospital held a casing ceremony on 6 January 2010, signifying their deployment to Iraq, the unit's third deployment since 2003. The 21st Combat Support Hospital consisted of physicians, nurses, pharmacists, physical therapists and other medical professionals. Their mission would be to provide medical care to soldiers in Iraq. In Iraq, the 21st Combat Support Hospital did their part by running a hospital that saw more than 2,500 emergency room visits, as well as thousands of outpatient and behavioral health visits. Members of the 21st Combat Support Hospital began redeploying to Fort Hood in September 2010.
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