Camp Shelby says so long to Medical Task Force

CAMP SHELBY, MS (WLOX) - A group that helped mobilize more than 200,000 soldiers in the war against terrorism was deactivated at Camp Shelby on Wednesday. A ceremony was held at the Mississippi Armed Forces Museum to say goodbye to the Medical Task Force.

The farewell marks the end of a very successful mission.

"Medical Task Force Shelby leaves behind a legacy of service, fulfilling the mission to provide comprehensive and compassionate force health protection," said the emcee, as the "casing the colors" ceremony began.

A major part of that mission involved mobilizing and demobilizing 200,000 soldiers who were deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.

"It's an important mission, and it's one that, quite honestly, goes overlooked a lot of times. But, nobody did it better, and that's the one thing we are most proud of," said Col. John Lamoureux, Commander at the Dwight D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center.

"Much like a NASCAR pit crew, the Medical Task Force of Camp Shelby has accomplished its mission with precision, speed and effectiveness," said Lamoureux.

One of the biggest challenges for the Medical Task Force was processing so many soldiers, up to several hundred per day.

"That has to be the most significant part, because we had such an impact on the mission, on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, making sure the troops were medically ready to deploy," said task force Commander Lt. Col. Brett Venable.

The task force also provided medical services and support to Camp Shelby, with the help of medical partners in the community.

"The Hattiesburg clinic has embraced our mission and provided critical health services to our injured and ill soldiers. Their impact on medical readiness cannot be overstated," said Venable.

The casing of the colors marked the formal end to the task force and its decade long mission of helping deploy soldiers.

"While we are here to say goodbye to the mission, and the people who made it happen, I submit to you the effects of what was accomplished here will go on for a lifetime, in those that have been through here," said Lamoureux.

The Medical Task Force at Camp Shelby was comprised of two active Army reserve units from Kentucky and Tennessee.

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