MSG Half-Mast recently had the honor of sitting down with Mr. Jason Acevedo at Fort Detrick, MD. Mr. Acevedo is the Director of the Logistics Assistance Program (LAP) for the Integrated Logistics Sustainment Center (ILSC), Army Medical Logistics Command (AMLC).
He has previously served as a Healthcare Technology Manager (HTM) expert/lead for the Readiness and Sustainment (R&S) ILSC. Acevedo’s background consists of many functional roles in the medical logistics profession, including 21 years of military experience, retiring from active duty as the Senior Clinical Engineer Enlisted Advisor for the Office of the Surgeon General and G4 MEDCOM. Mr. Acevedo’s career has covered many echelons of medical logistics and leadership roles.
MSG Half-Mast: Mr. Acevedo, thank you for taking time for this interview. Please give us an overview of the AMLC logistics assistance program (LAP) and how it contributes to the Army’s medical readiness
Mr. Acevedo: The LAP establishes, staffs and manages a worldwide program providing expert technical support, readiness monitoring, data-based solutions and constant communication to commanders in support of medical logistics sustainment, across COMPO 1, 2, 3 and 6, and provides assistance resolving problems that are beyond these commanders’ resources or capability.
MSG Half-Mast: Where do you currently offer support, and how?
Mr. Acevedo: Currently, we have three Lead Systems Technical Representatives (LSTRs) with one each at Ft Bragg, NC; JBLM, WA; and Ft Hood, TX. We are in a hiring action to locate one in Kaiserslautern, Germany. LSTRs are typically assigned at the Army Field Support Battalion (AFSBn) level, although the one in Germany will be located with the 405th AFS Brigade (AFSB) and provide support to its various battalions. The LSTRs are the AFSBn commander’s single point-of-contact for medical logistics in support of sustainment, tailored to that AFSBn’s mission, equipment density and geographic dispersion.
MSG Half-Mast: What are the most positive and concerning trends you’re seeing across the medical materiel and logistics enterprise?
Mr. Acevedo: The AMLC LAP is seeing a positive uptick in the number of requests from the operating force for support. Since our LAP program is new, relative to other assistance programs, it’s taken some time for units to reach out to us for assistance. That’s changing and rapidly.
A concerning trend we see is that some units aren’t correctly implementing already-established Army policy and guidance, which compounds their ability to effectively maintain their medical equipment. For example, units aren’t establishing required maintenance management plans for medical items in GCSS-Army. The tendency is to just sign for an item and enter it into the property book. Without maintenance management plans, units aren’t able to adequately capture essential data that enables effective sustainment, provides active readiness indicators and allows commanders to make informed decisions.
MSG Half-Mast: What steps are being taken to sustain the positive trends and counteract the negative ones?
Mr. Acevedo: The AMLC LAP continues to socialize and promote its availability and readiness to accept any and all requests for assistance, from all COMPOs. It’s working hard to forge enduring relationships with not only the units it supports but the entire development and sustainment enterprise. These relationships are essential to gathering “actionable intelligence” about medical systems and equipment and then sharing it across the enterprise.
The AMLC LAP is striving to become that “constant” for medical sustainment by: (1) providing subject-matter expertise and consultation, (2) collecting organizational data and metrics that will enhance sustainment over the equipment’s life cycle, and (3) providing resolutions to specific issues, while also enforcing Army standards, policies and regulations.
MSG Half-Mast: How are medical materiel and logistics assistance support evolving?
Mr. Acevedo: The AMLC LAP is a new resource, so it’s perhaps not so much evolving as establishing itself. We want all commanders to interact with and know what AMLC has to offer, so our LSTRs are busy making the necessary connections, offering assistance and training and advising unit personnel in order to enhance their success when it comes to sustaining medical equipment. Our program is committed to providing units with proactive approaches to developing medical sustainment solutions during all phases of operations.
MSG Half-Mast: What do you foresee as future trends?
Mr. Acevedo: I spoke before about the task of gathering actionable intelligence. This intelligence not only helps to solve immediate problems but can be predictive in nature. A growing trend across the Army is the employment of this predictive data to make smarter development decisions. This means sharing this data across the enterprise, not only the sustainment enterprise but the development one as well. In short, today’s challenges can help us develop better equipment for the future but only if we’re gathering the right information. The LAP is about assisting units gather the right information at the right time and place, entering it into the right systems and then sharing it.
MSG Half-Mast: What message do you have for Soldiers who use, maintain or care for medical equipment or are involved in their logistical support that will help them be more proficient at their task?
Mr. Acevedo: Always seek more information and guidance to improve their situation, keep vigilant on their task, and ensure to take responsibility for their area of operations and accountability for the importance they play as medical logisticians.