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Annual Report the Surgeon General United States Army Fiscal Year 1959


Lebanon Incident

The dispatch of U.S. Armed Forces to Lebanon early in the fiscal year provided the first real test since the Korean War of how well the ArmyMedical Service is accomplishing one of its basic missions-combat readiness. The number of participating troops ashore was approximately 13,000, including marines, and the operation lasted slightly more than 3 months (July-October 1958). No combat was involved; in-


stead, a 'semigarrison' type of situation was encountered with most of the medical problems being in the field of preventive medicine. Nevertheless, the incident did provide a test of the capability of the Army Medical Service to cope with a sudden, unexpected situation in an oversea area. Data concerning all aspects of the AMEDS experience in the Lebanon incident are being collected for critical evaluation.

Army Medical Service units participating were dispatched to Lebanon by air or water from Europe. These included the 58th Evacuation Hospital; the 4th Surgical Hospital (MA); the 1st Clearing Platoon, 24th Airborne Brigade; the Medical Platoon, 187th Airborne Battle Group; medical detachments of the 3d Tank Battalion and the 299th Engineer Battalion; the 100th Veterinary Food Inspection Detachment; and the 485th Preventive Medicine Company. U.S. Army, Europe, also supplied the medical personnel for the Headquarters, American Land Forces (Provisional).

Acceleration of planning actions resulting from the Lebanon incident required the establishment of an Emergency Operations Center in the Office of The Surgeon General to provide a focal point for compiling information, for developing emergency requirements, and for conducting briefings on the situation. Activities of the Emergency Operations Center were suspended in October 1958 at the conclusion of the emergency.

 Mobilization Planning

 The Army Medical Service Mobilization Program FY 1959 was prepared and distributed during the third and fourth quarters of the fiscal year. This program provides for the development of balanced AMEDS mobilization capabilities in terms of forces, personnel, facilities, and materiel requirements in support of the Army Strategic Capabilities Plan.

Information concerning the capabilities and limitations of the Army Medical Service in support of the Department of the Army's war and contingency plans is contained in the Army Medical Service Mobilization Capabilities Study completed in the third quarter of the fiscal year.

An OTSG planning officer is serving as an alternate member on the ad hoc group, Post Attack Military Hospitalization Resources, Health and Medical Task Group of the Department of Defense Emergency Planning Committee. During the fiscal year, this subgroup continued its work of preparing a detailed study evaluating the postattack survival probability of military hospital resources.

The Surgeon General also has a planning officer serving as an alternate member of another continuing group-the Health Facilities Task Force of the Interagency Health Advisory Board, Office of Civil and


Defense Mobilization-which is collecting and evaluating data on civilian and military health facilities (hospitals, clinics, and allied services). The mission of this task force is to determine the mobilization requirements and the potential availability of such facilities and services and to develop recommended policies and measures for their efficient utilization under various mobilization situations, with emphasis on nuclear attack upon the United States. 

Continuity of Operations Plan

The Surgeon General's Medical Continuity of Operations Plan (short title: MEDCOOP 1-58), published during the fiscal year, is based on the Department of the Army Continuity of Operations Plan and providesfor continuance of operation of the Office of The Surgeon General under various emergency conditions.

 Conference of Planning Officers

A conference of AMEDS planning officers was held on 13-15 January 1959, for the purpose of coordinating AMEDS mobilization planning actions and of resolving problems inherent in medical contingency and mobilization planning. Conferees included representatives of USCONARC, the ZI army areas, the Military District of Washington, the XVIII Airborne Corps, the First Logistical Command, and elementsof the Office of The Surgeon General.