DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
XVIII AIRBORNE CORPS
FORT BRAGG, NORTH CAROLINA
US ARMY CENTER OF MILITARY HISTORY
WASHINGTON, D. C.
OPERATIONS DESERT SHIELD AND DESERT STORM
Oral History Interview
DSIT AE 025
LTC Roger R. Sexton
Executive Officer, 62d Medical Group
Interview Conducted 26 February 1991 at Logistical Base CHARLIE, Saudi Arabia
Interviewers: MAJ Robert B. Honec, III, and SSG LaDona S. Kirkland
OPERATIONS DESERT SHIELD AND DESERT STORM
7 August 1989 - 15 May 1991
Oral History Interview DSIT AE 025
MAJ HONEC: This is an Operation DESERT SHIELD/DESERT STORM interview. My name is MAJ Robert B. Honec, [III]. I'm here with SSG LaDona S. Kirkland. We're both of the 116th Military History Detachment. We're here today at Log[istical] Base CHARLIE as the 67th 62d] Medical Group, [correction] 62d Medical Group. Today is the 26th of February 1991.
Okay. For the record, sir, could you please state your full name, rank, serial number, position, unit, position, and how long you've been in the position.
LTC CLARK: I'm LTC Roger R. Sexton. I'm ***-**-****. I'm the Executive Officer of the 62d Medical Group and I've been the XO for the group since my arrival at Fort Lewis on 16 July 1990.
MAJ HONEC: Okay, sir. Could you start from deployment, from that particular period of time when the 62d was given the word, and bring forward, if you will, the actions taken because of deployment and how the mission has evolved, the units you've gathered up, the types of units you've tailored into an area support mission now, and just begin from the beginning and perhaps you can move forward from there.
LTC CLARK: The 62d Medical Group was initially alerted for deployment on the 12th of August 1990. We were told to be ready to move, meet an air-flow date of 26 August, so basically we got a couple of weeks' notice. The group physically departed, the first element of the group physically departed Fort Lewis from McChord Air Force Base on 17 November 1990. The first element arrived in Saudi Arabia on the 19th of November 1990, and the last element closed on Saudi Arabia on 20 November 1990. We arrived at Dhahran International Airport, and about for the first five to six weeks we were located in Dammam. We were living and working out of an unfinished Saudi hospital in Dammam. We set up our headquarters down on the bottom floor and then we lived on the second, third, and fourth floors of the hospital.
MAJ HONEC: This hospital was nicknamed?
LTC CLARK: Nickname of... well, it had a lot of names. We affectionately referred to it as the White House or the White Hospital. Some folks referred to it as the White Elephant; however, we didn't much care for that name, so we referred to it as the White Hospital or the White House.
MAJ HONEC: Okay, thank you. I was going to ask, did you have all your units that you have now with you when you first touched down in country?
LTC CLARK: No. When we first arrived in country, two of our organizations that we currently have with us now--correction, three of the organizations--were on the ground. That was the 86th Evac[uation] Hospital, the 56th Medical Battalion, and the 36th Medical Battalion, although they may not have been in the current form that they are in now, but those elements were in country when we arrived here.
MAJ HONEC: Okay. Thank you. How about Headquarters [and] Headquarters Detachment? What sort of mission did you have when you first set down?
LTC CLARK: Our mission has always been as command-and-control element, and I don't remember the exact task organization, what units we had aligned under us when we first got here. That task organization changed almost on a daily basis. What we finally wound up with, the final and current task organization is the way we're structured today. We have five evac[uation] hospitals--three of those are active duty, one is Reserve component, one is National Guard--we have two medical battalions and one veterinary detachment. [That] is our current structure right now.
MAJ HONEC: Okay. The veterinary detachment is a Team JB.
LTC CLARK: I don't know; I couldn't ... . I believe that it is. It's the 73d Medical Detachment. As a matter of fact, it's our medical detachment ... our veterinary detachment out of Fort Lewis, and I think they are a JB Team, but let's double-check on that one.
MAJ HONEC: Okay, quite right. Okay. You set up in the hospital. You interfaced. It was an unused hospital or it was ... ?
LTC CLARK: Yes.
MAJ HONEC: Okay. Did you have any Saudi staff to augment your particular operation?
LTC CLARK: No. The only staff that was working in the hospital when we got there were the contractors that were trying to put the hospital together. They were still in the process of hooking up the wiring and the water and the plumbing and everything else, so those were the only local nationals, if you want to call them local nationals, that were in the hospital. We had no Saudi National Guard or army staff augmentation at all.
MAJ HONEC: Okay. It was a total army-run hospital after you took it over.
LTC CLARK: Well, now, we just lived and worked there. There were other organizations that shared the hospital also. There were three living towers in the back of the hospital where AMC [Army Materiel Command] people lived. There were also folks from the 45th Medical Company (Air Ambulance) from Germany lived in the hospital. There were several other organizations that lived in the hospital. It was such a large complex that they decided that they could house several units in there. So we shared living and working space with other organizations.
MAJ HONEC: Expounding upon the fact that this was an unused hospital, was taken over and was suddenly being used and you had to have nationals to plug in things, if you will, you set up the operation at first. How long did it take for the hospital building to become operational?
LTC CLARK: Well, the hospital never became operational as a hospital. No beds whatsoever. It took us probably two, maybe three days to get our pallets of equipment moved from the airport over to the hospital. We had to download them by hand and move everything into the hospital by hand and set up our operations, and we were operational there probably within two to three days after we arrived there and started picking up our command-and-control function. But the hospital, the white hospital itself, never functioned while we were there as a hospital. There were no operational beds set up there whatsoever.
MAJ HONEC: Good point. Okay. Did you, in providing primary health care, how did you do that, then, without using the hospital as a building?
LTC CLARK: Well, level-one care was provided by, we had an OA detachment, which is a dispensary detachment. They did occupy one end of the first floor of the hospital and they did run a little dispensary down there. But the only type of health care that we provided there was just level-one type support, sick call type activities for the folks who lived there in the hospital, and we also supported the AMC folks there that lived on the compound itself. And there were other clinics that were dispersed throughout the Dammam area that we were responsible for. And, you know, we had basically an area support mission back there in Dammam.
MAJ HONEC: Okay. Did you run into any problems with logistics, with communications, with any of the other things that the time lag or the enormity of the [space], or the quickness that the forces were being sent over here caused? If so, could you kind of illuminate some of those problems, some of the solutions.
LTC CLARK: Oh, just an evolving structure over here. And naturally, when you bring the number of troops that were brought into the country as rapid[ly] as they were brought in, naturally there's going to be some sort of obstacles that you have to overcome.
Of course, nobody ever has enough communications equipment. One problem that we did have is that it took us quite a while to get some tac[tical] phones in. It took us, if I remember correctly--and, here again, I'm just trying to think back--it probably took us, after we dropped our request, probably a couple of weeks to get our tac phones in so we could communicate with folks there in the Dammam area. Up until that time, our primary means of communication was via the FM [frequency modulation] radio. And we did have field fax [facsimile] machines, so we did have the capability to fax documents back and forth to other organizations. But we relied primarily upon the FM means of communications for quite a while until we got our tac phones in. And then it took a couple weeks for those to get in.
And the logistics system, of course. Not everybody had enough or all the supplies that they wanted and they were ... . The logistics system, the medical logistics system was flowing into country just like everybody else was. I personally don't remember any specific problems that, you know, that we had right off the bat with the medical logistics system.
MAJ HONEC: Okay. That begs another question. Your medical planning back at home station, at your home over in CONUS [continental United States] ... what sorts of issues did they have to wrestle with, that your planners had to wrestle with before you deployed over here?
LTC CLARK: Well, we weren't real sure where we were going and we weren't real sure what the mission was going to be. What we did is we just took our first task organization that we were given--and, here again, that doesn't resemble anything like what we have today--and we tried to get as many of those commanders together as possible, on a one-shot deal, and went over, you know, what we knew of what we were going to be doing once we arrived in country. But, here again, we basically didn't know what we were going to be doing until we got here. We didn't know exactly how the two [medical] groups [in the 44th Medical Brigade] were going to be structured, so that's about all I can say about that.
MAJ HONEC: Okay. Were all the units CAPSTONE-traced to you that you had back then? That you ... yes ... were all the units CAPSTONE-aligned?
LTC CLARK: No.
MAJ HONEC: Okay.
LTC CLARK: As a matter of fact, I don't know whether any of them are or not.
MAJ HONEC: Okay.
LTC CLARK: We'll have to get ... what I need to do is I need to get the S-3 and the S-4 over here; maybe the S-1.
MAJ HONEC: The two subsequent ... we could do a group interview, too. Okay, all right.
Well, from Dammam, from the White House hospital, could you bring forward the operations to King Khalid Military City, KKMC, and what sorts of units did you acquire and did the mission change? Elaborate on that, sir.
LTC CLARK: Well, before we left the White Hospital in Dammam, we had elements, at least quartering parties or advance parties, of all of the units that were going to subsequently be assigned to us. I'm talking about the evac hospitals. The 86th Evac Hospital was already in country when we got there, and after we arrived and the advance parties, quartering parties, whatever you want to call them, the 15th Evac, the 93d Evac, the 109th and the 44th Evac arrived in country.
And on the 27th of December, myself along with representatives from those four hospitals departed Dammam, the White Hospital, en route to KKMC, where we moved to from Dammam. And basically the 62d Medical Group co-located with the 86th Evac Hospital that had moved up to KKMC probably a couple of weeks before we moved, and the group headquarters co-located with them. The rest of the organizations moved up at a later date, after the first of the year, and moved down into what was known as the Checkerboard or the COSCOM [1st Support Command (Corps)] Annex south of KKMC, down at what we refer to as Area VICTOR. That was where all of those units, with the exception of one ... . The 44th Evac, moved into its permanent location there at KKMC.
The 86th and the 44th were to remain at KKMC, set up their hospitals, become operational, which they have done, and that was their permanent location. The other hospitals--the 93d, the 109th, and the 15th Evac and the 56th Med[ical] Battalion and the 36th Medical Battalion--staged down in Area VICTOR in the COSCOM Annex, awaiting their instructions or orders to move to Log Base CHARLIE once Log Base CHARLIE became open.
MAJ HONEC: The issues tentage-wise, DEPMEDS [deployable medical system], were all these hospitals obviously did not have the DEPMEDS systems [issued] to them. What I'd like to know is what percentage of your hospitals were the old type hospitals, what percentage were the new type hospitals, which ones were they?
LTC CLARK: The 86th Evac was DEPMEDS-fielded. They had their DEPMEDS already up and running when we got in country. The other four hospitals were fielded their DEPMEDS once they arrived in country. So they received their DEPMEDS ... the 44th, 15th, 93d, and 109th received their DEPMEDS equipment after they arrived in country. So four out of the five hospitals were fielded with DEPMEDS after they arrived in country.
MAJ HONEC: Okay. A new concept, so therefore it took additional training for them to become familiar with how to set up the DEPMEDS and whatnot. Was it ...
LTC CLARK: I think all of the hospitals received their DEPMEDS training before they left the States. They received that, and I don't know whereabouts they received it. I don't know whether they went out down to Camp Shelby, Mississippi, or where they went to receive their DEPMEDS training, but they had already received some sort of training on the DEPMEDS equipment.
MAJ HONEC: Okay. So that was not an issue, it was just [getting] the equipment?
LTC CLARK: No. The only problem was just getting the DEPMEDS equipment in country.
MAJ HONEC: How did that get here?
LTC CLARK: Well, some of it came in by air. The majority of it came in by sea. But it was just such a logistical, I won't say nightmare, but it was a real problem getting everybody's equipment in country and getting it from the [32d] MEDSOM [Medical Supply, Optical and Maintenance Battalion] out to where the hospitals were going to be located.
But that was the primary responsibility of the DEPMEDS fielding team. A MAJ John Harris and a MAJ Hank Sintron were the two folks that we dealt with quite extensively getting the four hospitals their DEPMEDS equipment to get them set up, operational and running.
Transportation was another issue, too, another big issue. It was such a premium. Our hospitals were having to move and set up and stage at the same time that a tremendous amount of other logistical supplies: fuel, water, ammunition, Class VIII, Class IX, troops, major end items, tanks, everything else was moving. You know, we had to compete for transportation assets just like everybody else. It was a hard task, but our S-4 shop and the DEPMEDS people came through and we finally got everybody fielded with their DEPMEDS equipment.
MAJ HONEC: Okay. The fielding team, the DEPMEDS fielding team was out of Fort Sam Houston?
LTC CLARK: I'm not sure where MAJ Harris and MAJ Sintron call home. I don't know whether they're out of Fort Sam or whether they're out of the Washington, D.C., area. I'm just not real sure where they're from.
MAJ HONEC: It's not important. Okay. Once you came up to KKMC, what was your mission as opposed to what it was in Dammam?
LTC CLARK: Well, here again, we still had an area support mission. We were still identified as supporting the Corps rear. Once again, we set up--the clearing platoons out of the clearing company--set up a level one health-care support facility. They provided sick call type facilities for the troop population there at KKMC. We provided hospitalization, four-level hospitalization, through the 86th Evac Hospital. And another one of our big chores or tasks was to get the 44th fielded with their DEPMEDS equipment and get them up and going there at KKMC. So it was just ... it wasn't so much a change in mission, it was just kind of a change of location for us.
MAJ HONEC: Okay. Is the 44th 100 percent now with the DEPMEDS?
LTC CLARK: The 44th is set up, operational, and running with the DEPMEDS equipment. There still may be a shortage or two here and there. They may not have all their ventilators or they may not have all of their medical equipment, but they have the majority of it. I'll have to ask the S-4 for the records.
MAJ HONEC: Certainly. Well, perhaps some of the logistics issues. The DEPMEDS coming in country had a certain amount of pharmaceutical stockages, formal areas. Was there any problem with the new DEPMEDS coming over with some of the medicines not being appropriate that you ever heard of?
LTC CLARK: Not that I'm aware of. I know that they had what they call "Ps and Ds" if I'm not mistaken--potency and dated items. And as far as I know, there weren't any problems with those when they arrived. It was just, here again, the problem of getting all of the DEPMEDS equipment into country.
MAJ HONEC: Pieces.
LTC CLARK: Pieces, components. Pieces just came in and, you know, just getting a piece here and a piece there and getting it to the right location so you could get a hospital up and rolling.
MAJ HONEC: While at KKMC, did you have a multinational mission, if called upon, to support the Saudis or the Kuwaitis also there?
LTC CLARK: We didn't treat any local nationals, Saudis or Kuwaitis. What happened, the 86th Evac Hospital was set up next to a MODA hospital, which is a Ministry of Defense and Aviation hospital. That's the Saudi fixed hospital there at KKMC. So, all of the local nationals were treated over in their own hospital there at KKMC.
MAJ HONEC: The Saudis, the Kuwaitis were there also. How about the French and the Brits?
LTC CLARK: The French were located there at KKMC. They had, I know they had an aviation unit located out at one of the airfields south of KKMC. In terms of medical units, hospitals, I don't think they had a hospital set up at KKMC, or not a French hospital anyway. However, they do have a French hospital up the road here at Rafha, but I don't think that hospital was set up at KKMC. The only hospitals that I know that were there were the Saudi MODA hospital, the 86th Evac Hospital, and the 44th.
MAJ HONEC: So, the area support was basically to own troops in that.
LTC CLARK: Yes.
MAJ HONEC: Taking the period now from KKMC to Log Base CHARLIE, could you talk about the move, some issues raised there? The obvious difference ... the mission has not changed; it's still area support. When did you acquire new units? I think you've already covered that.
LTC CLARK: Yeah. Our task organization that we have right now was pretty much set at KKMC. To move from KKMC to Log Base CHARLIE, we did not acquire any new organizations at all. We still have the five evac hospitals, the two medical battalions, and the 73d Veterinary Detachment. Now I think there's probably some small little medical teams thrown in here and there, like a KD Team and a KE Team, neurosurgical team, maxillofacial team. We'd have to go over and check with the S-3 and get all of those little teams because I just absolutely don't remember every one of them.
But we moved up here ... I guess the advance party out of the group departed KKMC on the 31st of January  and moved to Log Base CHARLIE, and we established our area here, co-located with the 15th Evac Hospital. And here again, just like anything else on the move up to KKMC and from KKMC to here, here again, one of the big logistical problems was the availability of transportation assets. We had to go in and compete for assets, for basically beans and bullets and people and tanks and fuel and water and everything else that was being moved, trying to get the war-fighters in place. We had to go out and compete for those assets also.
MAJ HONEC: This lengthened each move, waiting for available transportation?
LTC CLARK: It stretched it out quite a bit. I don't know exactly the day that the last unit closed in up here at Log Base CHARLIE, but we do have all of our hospitals and two medical battalions up and running, performing their mission, whether it be hospitalization or providing level one medical care or evacuation, whether it be ground or air. They all made it up here and they're all performing their mission.
MAJ HONEC: Okay. Is MSR [Main Supply Route] DODGE, which is also known as Tapline [Trans-Arabian Pipeline] Road, the MSR down to KKMC ...
LTC CLARK: I think ...
MAJ HONEC: Is that the primary ground evacuation route to get to the 86th or to KKMC?
LTC CLARK: Yeah. There's only one way to get down to the 86th, is to head east down to MSR DODGE, which is also known as Tapline Road, and you go all the way down to Hafir al Batin and then turn south on, I think it's called MSR SULTAN, if I'm not mistaken. However, I do think the engineers cut a road from KKMC into MSR DODGE about, connected with MSR DODGE about 30-40 miles west of Hafir al Batin and called it Range Road. I never made the trip over Range Road, always stayed on DODGE down to SULTAN, and it's...
MAJ HONEC: But basically that's an unimproved; it's scraped but it's not improved. It doesn't have tarmac.
LTC CLARK: It is ... the majority of it is just a two-lane asphalt road.
MAJ HONEC: Okay. So distance-wise, it's 270 kilometers, say, to Hafir al Batin, and then it's how many kilometers to KKMC?
LTC CLARK: It's 60 kilometers from Hafir al Batin to KKMC.
MAJ HONEC: Okay. So that's a fairly great distance for that. Air evacuation, of course, would make that ...
LTC CLARK: The primary means of evacuating patients out of here is by air if they have to go to KKMC, to go to one of the four-level hospitals, or to one of the EAC [echelons above corps] hospitals. The primary means is by air, whether it be by Air Force or Army airlift.
MAJ HONEC: Okay. The planning, of course, the forward landing strip down here at Log Base CHARLIE of course is much more convenient to facilitate air.
Okay. Going back to the area support role or mission that you have, would you elaborate the primary and secondary mission that you have?
LTC CLARK: Well, the primary mission that we have is to support the corps rear in terms of hospitalization, medical evacuation, level one type medical care, sick call. We treat the multinational force. We have treated some local nationals in our hospitals. Primarily ... the majority of our patients have been US soldiers. Very few casualties related to the ground war, thank goodness for that. It seems like the majority of our casualties, the majority of our patients were as a result of motor vehicle accidents on MSR DODGE. And I think it was either yesterday or the day before yesterday that there was a Saudi national, a civilian that was injured in a car accident that was brought to our hospital and treated, and I think that person was subsequently released after his minor injuries were treated.
MAJ HONEC: Okay, multinational force. Is there any other issues that you think about this operation at Log Base CHARLIE? You've had adequate engineer support to set up your operation here?
LTC CLARK: The engineers have been great. They came out and laid out where we were going to establish the compounds. Engineers brought their bulldozers, their backhoes, jack hammers so we could drill through the hard ground out here and get tent stakes in. The engineer support has just been absolutely great. Couldn't ask for anything better out of those guys.
MAJ HONEC: Very good. How about communications, commo? Very important in this particular ... distances involved.
LTC CLARK: Well, right now we are ... our primary ... well, I'd say our primary means of communication ... . We have several means of communications. We have FM radio, we have AM [amplitude modulated] radio, we also have land lines. We do have one tac phone in and we do have a switchboard with pre-wired TA-312s that go out to brigade, two of our hospitals (the 109th and the 15th), and then the two medical battalions, the 15th [i.e., 56th] and the 36th.
Another mission that the 36th Medical Battalion has up here is a patient decon[tamination] mission. Should we or had we received any chemically contaminated patients, the 36th Medical Battalion had the responsibility for running our PDFs [personnel decontamination facilities] or the patient decon stations to clean those patients up before they were admitted to the hospital.
MAJ HONEC: Okay. So basically, logistics-wise, I see that the MEDSOM forward here has gotten a lot of prepackaged CCL if you will, Combat Configuration Load, medical supplies for the hospitals forward. I assume that it would have the same thing for you all here in ...
LTC CLARK: Yeah. We draw our medical supplies from the, or some of our medical supplies, from the forward medical supply point down here, from the MEDSOM. I'm not saying that they have everything that we need. There's still an occasion that we have to go back to the MEDSOM at KKMC to pick up other medical supplies, but, yes, we do draw some medical supplies from the folks down here.
MAJ HONEC: Going back to Class I supplies, do you draw a lot of water?
LTC CLARK: There is a well around here, if I'm not mistaken. I believe somebody told me it was about 1.3 miles kind of north and west of here, and there is a line that runs out to the well and there is water going, I know ...
[END OF SIDE ONE]
... and the water line runs directly from the well into both of the hospitals. I'm not real sure whether the water is potable or not, but I do know that there is water going into both of the hospitals.
MAJ HONEC: Okay. So your water needs are met from a well, not from a water source or a desalination plant or anything like that.
LTC CLARK: Yeah. Here again, there's ... when we came out here, I came out here, and looked at Log Base CHARLIE back in the end of December with representatives from the Corps and the 507th (Corps) Support Group, and that was one of the things that we were vitally interested in, was water supply not only for us but for the other organizations that are out here. I would have to assume that that water probably is potable, but I couldn't swear to it. I guess we'll have to get over and ask one of the hospital commanders whether it is or not. But that was one of the main things that we were interested in as well as the other people, is the water supply.
MAJ HONEC: Okay. Other supplies. Has your group experienced any critical needed supplies like blood shortages or medical oxygen? What's the status of those type of supplies? A good quantity of them?
LTC CLARK: As far as I know, there aren't any great shortages or blood or any of the other Class VIII medical supplies. Here again, we'd have to go over and talk to my logistician and find out what we're critically short of. I guess about the only class of supply, I won't say the only, but one of the classes of supply that is critically short out here is Class IX repair parts.
MAJ HONEC: Good point.
LTC CLARK: A lot of the requisitions were either filled or killed. You take the requisition down. If they have the part, they'll give it to you. If not, they will kill the requisition and you have to go try to find the part somewhere else. So, Class IX has been one of the classes of supply that's been hard to come by.
MAJ HONEC: Okay. Is there any idea of that being alleviated now that the ground war has started and it seems like the flow of parts seems to be, you know, has greatly stepped up?
LTC CLARK: Here again, I still think that repair parts are still being issued on a fill-or-kill basis. I don't think there are as many up here as organizations would like to see. I think there's still a shortage of the Class IX repair parts.
MAJ HONEC: Okay, let's shift a little bit to people in operation from Dammam. The people, are they...
LTC CLARK: In terms of operations and length of duty hours, I know that, at least from here at the group level, we run a 24-hour operation, and, of course, that is naturally run out of the TOC [tactical operations center]. For the hospitals, they run a 24-hour operation. Each one of our hospitals is manned somewhere around, they have about 400 people in each one of the hospitals. Of course, they run operations 24 hours a day. Our evacuation people have people on call: first-up air crew members to respond to medical evacuation missions. They keep those folks are on call 24 hours a day. So, everybody's busy. There's a lot to do.
MAJ HONEC: Is there like two shifts, 12-hour shifts?
LTC CLARK: I'm not sure what the hospitals run, whether they're running two 12-hour shifts or three eight-hour shifts. I know I can speak here in the HHD [headquarters and headquarters detachment] element, we're basically running two 12-hour shifts, and we're kind of a small organization, have between 45 and 50 people. I think our strength is sitting now right at about 48 or 49 right now, and we basically run a 12-on, 12-off in the TOC.
MAJ HONEC: Okay. Do you ...
LTC CLARK: You want to talk about morale-enhancing activities that we have out here?
MAJ HONEC: Yes.
LTC CLARK: The 109th Evac Hospital has established a PX [post exchange] account, and they have opened up a small PX over in their hospital area. And they sell chips and snack foods and soft drinks and cigarettes and things like that, so that's one of the things that kind of picks up the morale of the soldiers. When we were down at KKMC, there was a bank of telephones that we could go down and use and make phone calls back home. We could go down and they would give you five minutes to get your call through, ten minutes to talk, so basically you had anywhere from a ten- to fifteen-minute telephone call. We have, all of the units, I'm sure all of the units have, I know that at least here in the HHD, we have a television and a VCR [video cassette recorder] and we have access to movies. We had a movie last night. I think the folks who were interested watched "Pretty Woman," if I'm not mistaken. It's the movie that we showed last night. So there are some times when we can get away from the job a little bit and kind of sit back and relax and watch a movie or go down to a unit-run PX facility.
MAJ HONEC: Okay. How about meals? What sorts of meals are you running under now?
LTC CLARK: When we first got up here, we were eating pretty much MREs [Meals, Ready-to-Eat] three meals a day. Right now we're eating two hot meals a day and we're having A-Rations [fresh food] for breakfast--that started yesterday--eggs to order, omelets, scrambled eggs, fried eggs, some biscuits. We had that again this morning. Get an MRE for lunch and get another hot meal for supper, whether it be T-Rations or whether it be MOREs [Meals, Organizational, Ready-to-Eat].
MAJ HONEC: Okay. Let's see ... mail. How is the mail situation? How has it been from Dammam, KKMC, and now here at Log Base CHARLIE?
LTC CLARK: The mail is getting a lot better. We didn't have any problems with mail, as far as I'm concerned, down in Dammam.
MAJ HONEC: How long did it take an average letter to get home and one to get here?
LTC CLARK: Oh, let's see. I guess in Dammam it was probably running, I would imagine probably ran out about two weeks for a letter to get home and for a letter to get over here. And then, of course, when we moved out of Dammam up to KKMC, it took a little bit longer. The mail was still being flown into Dhahran and it had to be put on trucks and pallets and moved up to KKMC, so that kind of lengthened things out a little bit, so we were looking at probably adding about another five or six days onto that, so it was taking mail about three weeks to get to us at KKMC. Then we moved out of KKMC and we moved up to here, and there wasn't a real good situation with mail when we first arrived. There wasn't a postal unit firmly established here. That has since been rectified. They have several postal units up here right now. The mail comes in to Log Base CHARLIE on a daily basis. It's still taking ... I got a letter yesterday from my wife. It was postmarked on the 6th of February and yesterday was the 25th, so it took 19 days to get this letter to me, right at three weeks.
MAJ HONEC: So it really hasn't changed much.
LTC CLARK: Not a whole lot.
MAJ HONEC: It hasn't got worse.
LTC CLARK: It's a little bit worse than when we were in Dammam. It's remained about the same since we moved up from KKMC. But here again, what happened is that all the mail was flown into Dhahran. Then it had to be put on trucks and then moved up here to either KKMC or Log Base CHARLIE. And, of course, mail trucks have to fight for flatbeds and they have to fight for road space and everything else. So, it took a little while to get mail, but we do get mail almost on a daily basis.
MAJ HONEC: Do you have any questions, SSG Kirkland?
SSG KIRKLAND: Sir, I have one question. How many casualties did you expect when the ground war took off, and how many are you getting?
LTC CLARK: We didn't have a set number of casualties that we were expecting. We thought that we would see a few casualties once the ground war started, and I don't have an exact number right now, but I would say probably out of the three hospitals that are here at Log Base CHARLIE, of the two here at Log Base CHARLIE and the one up at Rafha, I would say we have probably seen less than ten casualties as a direct result of contact with Iraqi forces. We'd have to double-check that, though. It's been real light. It has been real light.
SSG KIRKLAND: Is this what you expected?
LTC CLARK: No. We thought that we would see a few more than what we've seen already. I don't know what number indicates light casualties; I don't know where we go from light to heavy. But, you know, we thought we'd see some gunshot wounds, fragmentation wounds being brought into the hospitals, and it just didn't happen. And we're glad of that. It's kind of boring for us, but we're glad that the coalition soldiers out there are not being ... .
SSG KIRKLAND: And what kind of wounds are people ... what's the most frequent type of wounds that people are coming in to you with?
LTC CLARK: We're still seeing a lot of motor vehicle accidents from out on MSR DODGE. I think there was ... we've treated some EPWs [enemy prisoners of war]. I'm not real sure what kind of wounds they were. I understand that we did treat one US soldier yesterday in one of the hospitals that had suffered some wounds from a hand grenade that had gone off, but I think he was getting out of the back of a truck, the safety was off of the hand grenade when he got out of the truck or out of the vehicle, it caught, the pin came out, and the hand grenade exploded, so that was one of the casualties that we've seen at one of the hospitals yesterday. But, here again, not a whole lot from direct contact with the enemy, which is good from our standpoint.
SSG KIRKLAND: Sir, that's all the questions I have.
MAJ HONEC: Okay. Being a Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, of course this is probably more a [S]-4 or [S]-3 type question. But do you see a need for any TO&E [table of organization and equipment] changes, or do you think that there is a specific personnel that you'd like to see staffed to the group level to help you accomplish your mission? Are you pretty well set with your folks? Well, you gave your opinion of that.
LTC CLARK: I think we're pretty well staffed at the group level. Now, we do have some people that are PROFIS fillers, our Professional Officer Filler System. We have the DCCS/Preventive Medicine Officer is one of our professional fillers; a physician on staff. Of course, we have a chief nurse assigned to the group. We have a--I have to check the TO&E to see what his exact title is--but I think it's a radiological protection or radiological services officer; I'm not real sure.
MAJ HONEC: Radiological protection officer.
LTC CLARK: It's CPT Carter. Dr. Iveson, or MAJ Iveson, is our physician. And we have another PROFIS filler, LT Paz, that is our MRO, our medical regulating officer. Now, we have picked up a couple extra people. They're not on the TO&E right now. We have a signal lieutenant that's been assigned to us. It's just an extra one that the brigade had. They asked us if we could put him to good use, and we can always use signal people. But I think we're pretty well set at the group level with personnel.
MAJ HONEC: Okay. System wise, is the TAMMIS [Theater Army Medical Materiel Information System] system utilized, being utilized?
LTC CLARK: We're not using the TAMMIS at all. Not using TAMMIS.
MAJ HONEC: Okay. Any reason why?
LTC CLARK: Let me turn that thing off and we'll talk to the MRO guy. TAMMIS is not being used simply because equipment shortages, 193 is nonfunctional, as is the APIU. Now, we were using TAMMIS. We had the system up and running. We had the TAMMIS people when we were down in Dammam and we were using the TAMMIS system a little bit down there. But since we got to KKMC and Log Base CHARLIE, we haven't used TAMMIS at all.
MAJ HONEC: Okay. Other questions, Sergeant? Okay. Do you have anything else that might have come to mind while we're talking?
LTC CLARK: No, not a thing.
MAJ HONEC: Okay, sir. Thank you very much. This concludes this portion of the DESERT SHIELD/DESERT STORM interviews.
[END OF INTERVIEW]