By Pfc. Alexander Hellmann, 133rd
Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
Ky. – As America fights to stave off a virus, at home Soldiers of the 1163rd Area
Support Medical Company are preparing for deployment to Poland as part of
Operation Atlantic Resolve in support of European allies in June 2020.
1163rd ASMC was recently activated to support the COVID-19 response in Kentucky,
working with several agencies including FEMA, Department of Public Health,
Kentucky Emergency Management and local medical communities to set up the
state’s first Alternate Care Field Hospital or Alternate Care Facility (ACF)
with capabilities to care for 250-2,000 COVID-19 patients.
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“Having the 1163rd to support our home state with the skill
sets we have is pretty awesome,” said Maj. Stephanie Fields, commander, 1163rd
While on mission at the ACF, the 1163rd ASMC is simultaneously readying themselves for the upcoming mission overseas. Soldiers are receiving medical training in the form of practicing sewing wounds using pigs' skin and reviewing practices to keep potential casualties breathing and stable.
“During our training for COVID-19, we've been able to really
get to know each other,” said 1st Lt. Thomas "TJ" Shaddix. “I get to
see where Soldiers’ skillsets are. I'm looking forward to training these
Soldiers up and help them expand their role.”
Shaddix earned his Bachelor's degree at Eastern Kentucky
University and Master's at Sullivan University to become a physician assistant.
“As a physician assistant, I will be there to provide roll
one and two care, emergency care at point of injury,” said Shaddix. “I'm also
the sexual assault, medical forensic examiner for the unit. This will be my
second deployment in the medical field,” said Shaddix. “I deployed with the
2123rd Transportation Co. to Afghanistan in 2010 as a medic and now I'm a
mission of the 1163rd is to conduct role one and two medical treatment within
their area of operation, with capabilities to deploy all equipment required to
be a self-sustaining medical facility. This includes everything from field
hospital tents, generators, vehicles, communication equipment, to the
specialized medical equipment such as ventilators and blood warmers.
“When you think of health care, you get the health care
providers and all the high speed equipment, but's it the logistics that you don't
think about, such has food for patients, beds, monitoring, and
transporting,” said Fields. “The headquarters is the sustainment piece,
medical logistics that includes vehicle and generator mechanics,
signal, and all the Soldiers that keep the hospital running and moving so
our physicians can do their job.”
four hours of being on site they can receive patients in the hospital as well
as have ambulances operational for patient evacuation.
than thirty days after the completion of their current COVID-19 domestic
operations mission, the 1163rd ASMC will be deployed to assist, protect, and
defend NATO allies in Poland in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve.
Morgan Ryan, a medic, is a student at The University of Kentucky studying human
nutrition and aspires to join the physician’s assistant field during her
“I didn't think I would go on a deployment so quickly, but I'm young and I couldn't think of a better time and I'm excited,” said Ryan, “We all have the basic understanding that is our job and what we signed up for. We're the area support medical support company, so whenever we're called we're happy to answer.”