The 9th Hospital Center at Fort Hood deployed their first wave of soldiers Wednesday as part of the response to provide medical response for COVID-19 patients in the New York City area.
The first group headed to Fort Dix, new Jersey where they will begin helping medical professionals in New York.
These units plan and train year-round and remain ready to provide defense support of civil authorities to help protect the American people during man-made and natural disasters.
A total of 300 soldiers will be going to the area over the next few days.
“As the United States military’s oldest and largest medical brigade, we stand ready to support the people of the United States in their time of need,” explained Col. Robert Howe, the 1st Medical Brigade Commander. “Our Soldiers are eager to provide medical service and support to our fellow citizens and alleviate some of the burden on our tremendous civilian healthcare system.”
The Hospital Centers feature what were described as “robust medical capabilities” as a self-sustaining hospital that remains ready to deploy anywhere in the world.
“We stand ready to deploy wherever our country needs us,” Howe added.
The deploying Soldiers will first supplement the current local medical facilities, and decide how much to grow the Hospital Centers, which can provide medical services ranging from routine care to surgical capabilities with up to 240 hospital beds.
Additionally, the 1st MED Brigade headquarters has been assigned to support the Joint Task Force – Civil Support’s COVID-19 response efforts, and will be leading medical planning operations from Fort Hood.
This response is part of the whole-of-nation approach to fighting COVID-19. The Army is working with interagency partners – including the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of Defense Military Health System and others – to support and protect military forces and the American people.