Over the last decade, the U.S. military has had to meet increased challenges. Military units are deployed around the globe to fight wars and keep the peace. Ensuring our forces are in a state of optimal health and equipped to protect themselves from disease and injury is the job of the USAMRMC. The Command’s product line includes vaccines, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and information technology—a portfolio far more diverse and complex than any commercial medical product developer.
The Office of the Deputy for Acquisition has the ultimate responsibility of bringing forward to users new medical products, such as improved tourniquets, handheld ultrasounds, and an adenovirus vaccine. Product acquisition is managed by integrating diverse functions and communities, such as users, laboratories, commercial industry, resource management, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulatory affairs, and logistics. Ultimately, the office oversees advanced development of products from FDA clinical trials to licensure and then the follow-on initial production and fielding to ultimate users. It must be emphasized that most USAMRMC products require FDA approval—the final step following years, and in some cases decades, of dedicated research, development, test, and evaluation by USAMRMC personnel—before an emerging technology becomes a usable product.
While some USAMRMC products are used exclusively in permanent hospitals and clinics, such as Darnell Army Community Hospital, Fort Hood, Texas, or Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany, others are carried directly to the front line by Soldiers and medics. The contributions USAMRMCdeveloped products make to the health and well-being of Soldiers and their families are inestimable.
In some cases, USAMRMC uses products that are commercially available; often, however, products are developed from the ground up from technologies only just emerging within USAMRMC laboratories. The broad scope of USAMRMC’s product line, the cost and complexity of developing medical products, and the need to deliver medical products on time and on budget make USAMRMC’s acquisition management one of the most critical functions in the DoD. Not only do military medical acquisition personnel take into account current Army medical requirements, they look into the future, evaluate the threat environment, and then provide products that will keep our Soldiers and our homeland safe and secure.