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Annual Report the Surgeon General United States Army Fiscal Year 1959


 Revision of Tables of Organization and Equipment

Efforts continued throughout the year to modernize the Army's medical organizations in accordance with the present concepts of future warfare. The general objectives are to-


1.  Improve the responsiveness and flexibility of medical service in theaters of operations.

2.  Reduce the variety of type units in the overall AMEDS TOE structure.

3.  Increase the mobility and transportability of AMEDS units by both surface and aerial vehicles through reduction in the number, variety, size, and complexity of materiel items in TOE.

4.  Improve flexibility within units to permit dispersed operations of functionally autonomous elements.

5.  Improve communication facilities by providing organic radio capability where required.

6.  Establish a standard pattern for the functional organization of all TOE hospitals.

7.  Establish standard medical organizations for support of major military formations, such as corps.

Although all of these objectives have not yet been attained, significant progress was made during the year. The following are some of the important developments:

1.  All medical assemblages, except the one for the 60-bed surgical hospital, were reviewed for modernization, and the approved changes are being implemented. The assemblage for the 60-bed surgical hospital is being reviewed, and the changes indicated should be implemented early in fiscal year 1960.

2.  The air ambulance company is expected to be adopted early in fiscal year 1960 as pointed out in the Aviation Medicine Section of this report.

3.  The outlook for adoption of a new ground ambulance company appears favorable. As planned, it will have thirty-six ?-ton M43E1 ambulances instead of the current thirty, thus acquiring greater capability with no increase in overhead personnel.

4.  A tentative TOE has been developed which would organize the semimobile 400-bed evacuation hospital into a headquarters and two 200-bed units. The desirability and feasibility of such an organization is being studied.

5.  A pattern has been developed for the functional organization of TOE hospitals. Recommendations for changes in specific TOE have been submitted for two of the station hospitals.

Modernization of AMEDS TOE continues to be hampered by personnel ceilings. Budgetary limitations along with austerity trends preclude increases in TOE strength except where it can be shown that such increases will result in economies elsewhere. The austerity trend is equally applicable to equipment authorizations.


Conversion to Machine Processing of Supply Manuals

As the result of an informal study conducted in fiscal year 1958, a machine-processing method was instituted to replace the former laborious and time-consuming manual task of maintaining supply manuals for major medical equipment assemblages in a current status. Under the old method, the changes were typed on 'flexo-strips' which were then inserted in the proper places on the panel boards of the equipment list to be processed as a supply manual. The new method called for replacing the panel boards with a master deck of EAM (electric accounting machine) cards for each major medical equipment assemblage. These decks would then be used to produce machine listings of equipment, thus eliminating the typing process. In addition, these listings would be used for converting to the supply-manual format those AMSELS (Army Medical Service Equipment Lists) not previously converted. Accordingly, a contract was awarded, and a file of master decks of EAM cards was established during the final quarter of fiscal year 1958.

Early in fiscal year 1959, the new machine-processing system was found to be deficient in two important respects. No provisions had been made (1) to keep the master decks up to date and (2) to obtain master decks for newly established major medical equipment assemblages. This meant that not only were the new master decks out of date but also that none existed for the new assemblages. Consequently, procedures were established in July 1958 to bring the master decks up to date and maintain them. At the end of the fiscal year, the review and correction of master EAM card files was nearing completion, the conversion of old AMSELS to the supply-manual format was more than 50 percent completed, and a contract has been requested for the preparation of master decks for new major medical equipment assemblages. This contract will also provide for the functional packing features of such assemblages as the semimobile evacuation hospital and the mobile Army surgical hospital.