Womack Army Medical Center (WAMC) and the 7458th Medical Backfill Battalion (MBB) partner up to maintain medical readiness for all surrounding Fort Bragg area Soldiers using an initiative called “Operation Reserve Care.”
Operation Reserve Care started in 2016 as a means to help improve Army Reserve medical readiness. Since the inception of the operation, the partnership between the two organizations has sparked great demand for their services across all three Army components near Bragg.
“We have had to increase our rotations to two weekends a month,” said Capt. Tiffany Glass, the 7458th clinical operations officer-in-charge. “We rotate with another unit, but we now have units bringing in a large population of their Soldiers in order to maintain their unit medical readiness.
The Southeast Medical Area Support Group commander, Col. Brad Nindl explained why the partnership and its success is important.
“Whether you listen to active duty or reservist senior Army leadership, readiness is important,” Nindl said. “This is a great example of Total Force Integration. When we go to war we fight together, (Army components one, two, and three). This is a great example of us training together as well.”
The Army’s Total Force Policy is an ongoing effort by the service to transition its Reserve component forces, both the Army Reserve and the National Guard, into an operational force. The intent is to create a seamless and holistic total force governed by the same interchangeable policies and procedures.
Col. Bonnie Lowe, Army Reserve deputy surgeon, expressed her appreciation of the collaboration and how it better benefits the Army’s Total Force Policy concept.
“Anytime that our units can practice their war time mission, it’s a win-win for all of us,” Lowe said.
The new Total Force Policy will provide for a more uniform set of policies and procedures to govern all three Army component forces: active duty, Reserve and National Guard. It will facilitate better integration of these three component forces and a more balanced total force. It will also standardize authorities and procedures for pre-deployment readiness validation of the total Army.
The 7458th MBB operates its mission out of an active-duty medical treatment facility, WAMC. The WAMC commander expressed his support of the mission.
“We provide a platform to ensure medical critical war time skills reach a level of competency, currency and proficiency,” Col. John J. Melton, WAMC commander, said. “We fight as one Army and a joint force eliminating barriers.”
Operation Reserve Care services Soldiers in the Fort Bragg area in periodic health assessments, dental, audiology, optometry, immunizations and basic medical services every first and fourth Saturday of the month.