The United States Army

22/04/2024 | News release | Distributed by Public on 22/04/2024 09:52

Prepositioned stock site in Belgium opens medical materiel warehouse

[Link] (From left) USAMMA APS-2 Class VIII Maj. Tameka Tutt, Flemish Minister of Mobility and Public Works Lydia Peeters, Zutendaal Mayor Ann Schrijvers, Belgian Ministry of Defense Head of Division Civil Infrastructure Systems and Infrastructure Maj. Gen. Lieven Vanheste, and USAG Benelux Commander Col. Lindsay Riley Matthews cut the ribbon marking the opening of the renovated warehouse 50035 to be used to store and maintain USAMMA medical materiel at Army Prepositioned Stock-2 site in Zutendaal, Belgium on April 18, 2024. (U.S. Army photo by Sandra Wilson, USAG Benelux Public Affairs) (Photo Credit: U.S. Army)VIEW ORIGINAL

ZUTENDAAL, Belgium - Army Prepositioned Stock-2 Zutendaal site celebrated the grand opening of the newly renovated warehouse 50035 in Zutendaal, Belgium on April 18.

U.S. Army Garrison Benelux Commander Col. Lindsay Riley Matthews welcomed senior military and civilian Belgian officials to express gratitude for their professional partnerships and to mark the occasion with a ribbon cutting. The warehouse doors are now open and ready for U.S. Army Medical Materiel Agency (USAMMA) to fill the shelves with medical supplies.

"Today's ribbon cutting ceremony is a small representation of our combined commitment to long-term investment in our mission and our global community," said Matthews. "The United States Army has a 10-year plan to invest about $220 million in Zutendaal alone out of a $1 billion investment in Belgium."

The monetary investment not only increases the APS-2 site's capacity to support the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in peace and wartime missions, but it also reflects the value placed on the local community and on resource stewardship, with measures taken to conserve water and energy and to protect the environment.

[Link] (Right) Lucas Ploof, U.S. Army Medical Materiel Agency project manager for Army Prepositioned Stock facilities in Europe, guides special guests through the newly renovated warehouse 50035 after the ribbon cutting at APS-2 Zutendaal, Belgium April 18, 2024. The warehouse doors are now open and ready for USAMMA to fill the shelves with medical supplies. (U.S. Army photo by Sandra Wilson, USAG Benelux Public Affairs) (Photo Credit: U.S. Army)VIEW ORIGINAL

Initial renovation designs for the warehouse began in the fall of 2018. Five and half years and $15 million later, the doors opened making available more than 40,000 square feet of storage space for 15 of USAMMA's medical equipment sets to be used for combat point of injury, ground ambulances, tactical combat care, chemical agent decontamination, mortuary affairs, and chemical patients.

"It's great for Zutendaal as a whole to bring another mission partner to the site," said Ty Randall, USAG Benelux lead civil engineer at Zutendaal. "[USAMMA] gives viability to what Zutendaal brings to the war effort."

Special guests toured the site following the ribbon cutting and learned of its state-of-the-art capabilities.

Inside the warehouse, the climate and humidity-controlled areas make it possible to safely store perishable pharmaceutical items such as vaccines and insulin. The maintenance rooms provide space for medical equipment (defibrillators, x-ray machines, oxygen generators, and more) to undergo functionality testing and repair when needed.

"Our mission is sustaining life-taking care of the warfighter and making sure [they] can take care of those Soldiers on the battlefield and also the civilians," said Joseph Robinson, USAMMA forward site manager. Units deploying to the European theater can request the supplies to be issued for their use on missions from USAMMA warehouses all over Europe, including from Zutendaal's new medical materiel warehouse.

The tour continued with the secured vault for controlled substances and a wet room for sterilizing medical tools. Fire-rated containers hold hazardous materials such as alcohol, batteries, and bleach. The warehouse even houses its own administrative offices complete with a break room, conference room, and restrooms.

Making these warehouse capabilities a reality involved a team effort. All renovations, including that of warehouse 50035, had to follow the country building specifications and codes of Belgium. Specialized knowledge of the Belgian building codes was needed to reach the goal.

[Link] (Left) Jarrett Wolfe, Army Prepositioned Stock-2 Zutendaal site manager, shows Maj. Gen. Lieven Vanheste, Belgian Ministry of Defense, the land designated for the proposed solar panel field at APS-2 Zutendaal, Belgium April 18, 2024. Senior military and civilian Belgian officials took a tour of the site after the ribbon cutting ceremony opened its new medical supply warehouse. (U.S. Army photo by Sandra Wilson, USAG Benelux Public Affairs) (Photo Credit: U.S. Army)VIEW ORIGINAL

"We rely on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the local national [workforce] to really help us out in setting up these buildings," said Lucas Ploof, project manager for USAMMA's APS facilities in Europe.

Partnerships with the surrounding community and city leadership is also integral in achieving success.

"We get great community support," said Randall. "The municipality has been good to work with. They understand our mission here."

As USAMMA delivers their medical materiel to warehouse 50035 at Zutendaal in the coming weeks, the next warehouse renovation projects are already underway at other sites to further increase the U.S. Army's medical capabilities overseas.