Army Materiel Command leader explains how the Army tackles dangerous infectious diseases

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WHNT News 19's Steve Johnson talks to AMC Command Surgeon Col. Andrew Kim about keeping our troops prepared

Huntsville, Ala. (WHNT) – The Army Materiel Command or AMC is one of the most important commands at Redstone Arsenal.  They deal with everything that a soldier needs to operate.  This week AMC Command Surgeon Col. Andrew Kim stopped by WHNT News 19 to discuss some of the biggest things the AMC is doing right now.

This past year was host to a lot of serious infectious disease outbreaks in some parts of the world.  Here in the United States we are very fortunate to have state of the art medical facilities at our disposal, but for other parts of the world, they are not so lucky.  When the troops are deployed, the AMC makes sure that our soldiers are protected.   “We have to do our work in various parts of the world.  We have to make sure that as we deploy our employees and our soldiers, that they’re prepared, immunologically if you will, to be protected while in theater.”  Col. Kim explains that, “With all the emerging infectious diseases, it’s very important that we protect our work force from being infected by something that could potentially be lethal as they deploy into the work of the AMC out in the world.”

The emergence of Ebola in west Africa last year led to President Obama declaring it to be a national security issue.  The Department of Defense, the United States Army, and the Army Materiel Command were given a mission to rebuild the medical infrastructure that Liberia had lost.  “The crisis in Liberia and west Africa focused us on problems a little earlier than maybe we would have in the normal course of the decades.”  Col. Kim explains.  “So now today with the CDC and the World Health Organization, and US A I D, the United States Agency for International Development, we’re actually in phase for trials for a vaccine that looks very promising, and that’s a significant jump in scientific research that progressed into application within about a year time frame.”
For more of our conversation with Col. Andrew Kim watch our full interview in three parts here: