SAN ANTONIO, Texas – The 627th Hospital Center deployed over 50 medical professionals today to include emergency room and critical care nurses, respiratory specialists and support personnel to San Antonio. The 627th Hospital Center will embed in civilian medical facilities to help doctors and nurses combat a spike in new COVID-19 cases.
In March 2020, the 627th Hospital Center stationed out of Fort Carson, Colorado, deployed to Century Link Field in Seattle, Washington, during the initial wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We knew that there was a possibility for Department of Defense support to civil authorities; the scope and pace of the deployment are how we train,” said Colonel. Hope Williamson-Younce, the 627th Hospital Center’s Commander. “The 627th Hospital Center played a vital part in ensuring the Center Link Field’s 250-patient bed Hospital in Seattle was operational and ready to receive patients in under two weeks.”
The complexity and unpredictability of COVID-19 provided unique challenges during the initial DOD response to the pandemic. In Seattle, the 627th Hospital Center never had the opportunity to treat patients. Less than a week after operations were to begin at Century Link Field, Washington’s Governor Jay Inslee announced that after careful consideration with local, state and federal leaders, the 627th Hospital Center would redeploy back to Fort Carson, Colorado, and remain prepared to deploy to areas of higher need.
“As the largest and longest serving medical brigade in the Army, we remain prepared and ready for any contingency,” said Colonel. Robert Howe, Commander of the 1st Medical Brigade. “No-notice deployments like these are truly in our DNA and the Department of Defense picked the right unit to answer the emerging threat to the homeland. The 627th Hospital Center gained invaluable experience working with local, state and federal partners during their previous COVID-19 response in Washington, and I know they will excel in this new operational environment. The lessons learned helped prepare the 627th for FEMA’s most recent request for DOD assistance. We were able to adjust our planning framework and push our medical personnel to San Antonio in under 72 hours.”
“Many of our nurses from around the world who deployed to Seattle are now on the ground in Texas,” Williamson-Younce said. “They are taking those lessons learned, coupled with years of experience, bringing much-needed support and relief to our brave Texas medical professionals. We stand ready to support the American people, where and when they need us.”
Maj. Brent Beadle, 1st Medical Brigade