Soldiers, civilians and contractors celebrated the 25th Anniversary of U.S. Army Medical Materiel Development Activity June 1 at the Community Activities Center.
USAMMDA commander, Col. Russell E. Coleman, welcomed the present and past USAMMDA personnel and distinguished guests.
"We are here to celebrate 25 years of supporting our deployed Warfighters," said Coleman. "We are celebrating 25 years in the business of saving lives."
The celebration reviewed the past, present and future of protecting and sustaining the Warfighter.
Special guest speaker, Dr. Ronald E. Clawson, USAMMDA product manager for Pharmaceutical Systems from 1993-2002, spoke about the formation of USAMMDA and events leading up to the present.
"USAMMDA has delivered countless medical systems to the American Warfighter," said Clawson. "You have done it through your dedication, your knowledge, experience and your desire to ensure that our Warfighter has the best medical countermeasures available."
Clawson congratulated USAMMDA on its tremendously successful 25 years of service, but informed USAMMDA that there are still challenges to be met in the future.
"You need to continue to work harder today to deliver what the military needs tomorrow," said Clawson. "You need to be preparing now to fight the next war and looking around USAMMDA, I see the people here who can do just that."
Coleman continued the program by speaking about the present and future of USAMMDA.
"For almost nine years now, we have been a Nation at war," said Coleman. "The devices that we have fielded have kept many of the deployed young men and women alive."
Coleman pointed out that the war on Terrorism has changed the way the military does business, especially when it comes to improvised explosive devises and the need for mine resistant ambush protected vehicles.
"MRAP. Without IEDs, we wouldn't need MRAPs," said Coleman. "But we need them, and the military fielded them and folks at USAMMDA played an important role in that."
Coleman emphasized the importance of several programs within USAMMDA, including malaria drugs, blood products, and medical and casualty evacuation capabilities.
"Just as the military has changed, so has medicine in the military," said Coleman. "It is a constant balancing act, blending the old with the new and making sure we are responding to the operational needs of the Warfighter."
Looking to the future, Coleman acknowledged that there are changes coming USAMMDA's way, but USAMMDA will meet them head on. He concluded his speech with a moment of silence in respect to the fallen and deployed Warfighters.
Lt. Col. Karen M. Kopydlowski, deputy commander of USAMMDA, served as the master of ceremonies, keeping the 25th anniversary celebration on track.
Col. Isiah M. Harper, chief of medical affairs at USAMMDA, provided the invocation before the luncheon, remembering all the deployed Warfighters USAMMDA serves.
USAMMDA was established March 15, 1985, as a subordinate activity under the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command. Throughout the past 25 years, USAMMDA has been moved around Fort Detrick and Frederick and undergone several structural reorganizations to better support its mission and the Warfighter.