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NEWS | May 8, 2024

DEFENDER 24: APS-2 field hospital activated, issued in an Army medicine history first

By Cameron Porter 405th Army Field Support Brigade

For the first time in Army medicine history, an Army Prepositioned Stocks-2 32-bed field hospital was activated and issued, and for the first time in APS-2 history, an Equipment Configuration and Hand-off Area was established at Dülmen to support this mission.

The team from the 405th Army Field Support Brigade’s Germany Battalion at the Dülmen APS-2 worksite and members of the U.S. Army Medical Materiel Agency pulled an APS-2 field hospital from an 80,000 square-foot medical warehouse, as well as several containerized systems stored outside. From there, with the help of the gaining tactical unit from the U.S. and the 30th Medical Brigade and 16th Sustainment Brigade, they transported the APS-2 field hospital to Baumholder, Germany, for DEFENDER 24.

According to a memorandum from the U.S. Army Europe and Africa deputy command surgeon, Col. (Doctor) Ross Witters, the issue and activation of an APS-2 field hospital for a Europe-based exercise is the first of its kind and the first in the history for Army medicine. The rapid draw, issue and implementation of an APS-2 field hospital demonstrates how the Army can rapidly deploy medical personnel and capabilities to extend operational reach and lines of communication in conflict, the memo also stated.

Included in the APS-2 field hospital are medical supplies and medical equipment as well as the vehicles and additional equipment needed to transport it and operate it – APS-2 gear like generators, water storage tanks, load handling systems, air and heating units, Humvees, Light Medium Tactical Vehicles, containers and more. At Dülmen, the Class VIII medical supplies and medical equipment are maintained by the U.S. Army Medical Materiel Agency, and the rest of the APS-2 gear is maintained by Germany Battalion. In addition, AFSBn-Germany has mission command of the entire Dülmen APS-2 worksite.

“The issue of the Class VIII medical supplies and materiel and Class VII APS-2 equipment was incredibly smooth due to all the prior coordination and planning between the various stakeholders,” said Troy Furlow, the Dülmen APS-2 worksite director and a member of AFSBn-Germany. “We came together on Dülmen – three major organizations – to include U.S. Army Garrison Benelux, U.S. Army Medical Materiel Agency and AFSBn-Germany – to work with the gaining tactical unit, 30th Medical Brigade, and the 16th Sustainment Brigade to conduct the first ever ECHA [Equipment Configuration and Hand-off Area] operation, issue and convoy at the Dülmen worksite.”

Furlow said excluding two forklifts, which were moved by commercial line-haul transporters, everything for the APS-2 field hospital was moved by Soldiers from the 16th Sust. Bde., 30th Med. Bde. and the gaining tactical unit – the 810th Hospital Center – an Army Reserve unit deployed to Germany from Alabama for DEFENDER 24. The 16th Sust. Bde. moved all the containerized Class VIII medical supplies and medical equipment, and the 30th Med. Bde. and the 810th Hospital Center convoyed all the APS-2 vehicles and Class VII equipment from Dülmen to Baumholder for DEFENDER 24.

DEFENDER is the Dynamic Employment of Forces to Europe for NATO Deterrence and Enhanced Readiness, and is a U.S. European Command scheduled, U.S. Army Europe and Africa conducted exercise that consists of Saber Strike, Immediate Response, and Swift Response. DEFENDER 24 is linked to NATO’s Steadfast Defender exercise, and DoD’s Large Scale Global Exercise, taking place from 28 March to 31 May.

DEFENDER 24 is the largest U.S. Army exercise in Europe and includes more than 17,000 U.S. and 23,000 multinational service members from more than 20 Allied and partner nations, including Croatia, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Georgia, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. For more photos, videos and information on DEFENDER 24, go to

The Dülmen APS-2 worksite supports the 405th AFSB’s APS-2 program and is comprised of about 140,000 square feet of hardstand space and approximately 480,000 square feet of humidity controlled warehouse space with an additional 140,000 square feet of storage in the maintenance and storage swing space areas. This includes the U.S. Army Medical Materiel Agency warehouse and additional containers.

The APS-2 mission at Dülmen enhances U.S. Army Europe and Africa’s readiness and capability to support the warfighter while simultaneously promoting stability and security in the region. By providing turn-key power projection APS-2 packages ready to deploy at a moment’s notice, the Dülmen APS-2 worksite is a key component of U.S. Army Europe and Africa’s power projection and warfighter readiness missions. APS-2 sites help reduce deployment timelines, improve deterrence capabilities and provide additional combat power for contingency operations. APS-2 equipment may also be drawn for use in training and exercises, like DEFENDER 24.

The 405th AFSB is assigned to U.S. Army Sustainment Command and headquartered in Kaiserslautern, Germany. The brigade provides materiel enterprise support to U.S. Forces throughout Europe and Africa – providing theater sustainment logistics; synchronizing acquisition, logistics and technology; and leveraging the U.S. Army Materiel Command’s materiel enterprise to support joint forces. For more information on the 405th AFSB, visit the official website at and the official Facebook site at