Combat & Casualty Care

Q1 2017

Military Magazines in the United States and Canada, Covering Combat and Casualty Care, first responders, rescue and medical products programs and news\Tactical Defense Media

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Page 11 of 35

The U.S. Army Medical Materiel Development Activity's (USAMMDA) Medical Support Systems Project Management Office (MSS PMO) has spearheaded several modernization efforts to outfit and deploy a more expeditionary and energy efficient modular field hospital, by updating Soft Wall Shelters (SWS) and Rigid Wall Shelters (RWS), which enable triage, hospitalization, surgical and outpatient services in support of servicemembers. History Deployable Medical Systems (DEPMEDS) was originally developed in the 1980s as a result of Congressional concern with the Department of Defense's (DOD) need to modernize and standardize a generic system of Medical Materiel Sets. Development of a standard medical support system was needed to increase medical unit flexibility and mobility, include standardized logistics, and accommodate new technologies as they develop. Since then, the non-medical infrastructure that makes up the core foundation of the Army's DEPMEDS has aged and is in need of improvements. USAMMDA's MSS PMO is the U.S. Army Medical Department's (AMEDD) lead for life-cycle management of shelters that support DEPMEDS requirements. In response to the DOD Energy Policy (Department of Defense Directive, Number 4180.01 dated April 16, 2014), which called for improving the energy performance of DOD installations, USAMMDA took charge of developing more energy efficient shelters. The MSS PMO worked with the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center (NSRDEC) SWS team to develop the Tent Extendable Modular Personnel (TEMPER) Air Supported (TAS) (a.k.a. Soft Wall) shelters in the last decade with Congressional Special Interest funds, and with the RWS team to develop RWS retrofit kits. "The newer shelters are more modern, lighter and easier to ship, and more energy efficient. They will carry the AMEDD well into the next 15 years for operational requirements. This was done by making changes to both the SWS and RWS," said Jaime Lee, MSS PMO product manager. Research and Development The basic building blocks for the field hospital are TAS, which were developed by the AMEDD and adopted by Product Manager Force Sustainment Systems for general Army shelter requirements. These replace old TEMPER shelters. The original TEMPER shelter was comprised of a tent placed over a metal A-frame. "These were bulky and heavy systems, which took 10 to 12 Soldiers one to two hours to assemble," said Steve Hawbecker, MSS PMO project manager. "Soldiers were prone to injuries from having their fingers pinched in the frames, and others would pass out from heat exhaustion in extreme temperatures while assembling the shelters." The old TEMPER shelter material was made of a fabric that had a shelf life of 10 years. The majority of the current stock is older than that and in need of replacement. "As late as 2014, TEMPER testing showed that the old shelters were not passing fire resistant requirements and were potentially unsafe to patients and staff," said Hawbecker. The newer shelters, made by HDT Global, are comprised of a self- healing fabric. They incorporate four high pressure air-filled arches to provide the framework for the shelter. The interior of the shelter has a 10-foot height, a 20-foot width, and a 32-foot length. It will withstand wind gusts of up to 65 miles per hour and a snow load of 10 pounds per square foot. With a shelf life of 15 years, these shelters also include a thermal liner to improve energy efficiency and provide a more The Rigid Wall Shelters with carbon composite retrofit kit, addressing current deficiencies, was setup with the TEMPER air-supported shelter for a U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command product demo. (Photo courtesy of USAMMDA Medical Support Systems Project Management Office) Steve Hawbecker ENHANCED FACILITY CARE TO THE FIELD The U.S. Army Medical Materiel Development Activity (USAMMDA), Ft. Detrick, MD, is leading efforts to deliver an updated expeditionary field hospital into service. By Barbara Romiti, USAMMDA Mobile Medical Fielding Hospital-level Care 10 | Combat & Casualty Care | Spring 2017

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