Tuesday, October 03, 2006

RFI and Medical Processing

Today we processed through the RFI Center and the medical section.

RFI stands for "Rapid Fielding Initiative", which is the Army's way of pushing new equipment out to the field quickly. It was well-run and efficient, and we got some cool stuff:

MSS - Modular Sleep System, a high-tech sleeping bag system
Sand and Wind Goggles
Uvex Protective Eyewear
Camelbak hydration system
Nomex gloves (2 sets - cold weather and hot weather)
Fleece cap
Fleece jacket
Fleece pants
Moisture-wicking t-shirts
Lightweight long underwear (2 sets)
Moisture-wicking boot socks
Combat boots (2 pair - hot weather and cold weather)
Knee pads and elbow pads
ACH - Advanced Combat Helmet with ACU cover and NVG mount
Duffel bag to put it all in.

The way they issued it was as high-tech as the stuff they gave us. They scanned our ID cards, and produced bar-coded nametags we stuck on our shirts. At each station they scanned our nametags and then scanned the stuff we got. At the end it printed out a hand receipt which we signed.

That sounds pretty run-of-the-mill to anyone familiar with supply chain management and warehouse operations - but if you'd seen the number of paper forms I've had to fill in by hand over the past few weeks, this is revolutionary by comparison. Too bad all the Army's supply and administrative operations aren't this up to date.

After we got that stuff, we went for ACU fitting. This was also pretty well-organized. Instead of trying to fit and issue at the same time, they fitted us and made a record of our sizes. Then we go back tomorrow and pick up a box that they will have put together with all our stuff in it. Even though it seems counterintuitive to have us go back twice, I guess this helps them manage their inventory more efficiently.

After that we went to the medical facility for processing. This wasn't too bad, but it was more like what I've come to expect. Multiple people with individual parts of a large job, and just enough confusion and crossed purposes to make it somewhat inefficient. In our case the situation was complicated by the fact that a large group of soldiers (about 50) were redeploying from Afghanistan. Pre-deployment and re-deployment briefings and processes are very different, but use some of the same forms and paperwork. They got us mixed in with those people by mistake and it confused things for awhile. But we got it straightened out.

I got a whole mess of shots, since nothing I had had in the past was of any use except for polio. I got a DNA sample taken, blood taken for other tests, got tested for smallpox and TB, and got innoculated for Tetanus, Typhoid, and Anthrax. My arm hurts! (And now I have a Smallpox test on my arm that will turn into a scab that I have to nurse for 14-21 days - can't get soap or shampoo on it, have to change the band-aid every day, can't touch it without washing my hands, etc.). That will be convenient!

I have to go back for a dental exam and an eye exam (to get a prescription for reading glasses). These are not on the schedule, so they have to be fit in someplace. The next couple of days are likely to be pretty busy.

Tomorrow we go to CIF to get the rest of our clothing items issued, and also go through our administrative processing (I'm guessing that's finance, insurance, etc).

Right now I'm going to try to knock out a module of Command and General Staff College - I haven't completed a module of that course since before going to Korea, and I need to get it done in less than a year.

So - time to get to work!


Post a Comment

<< Home