Back to Top Skip to main content Skip to sub-navigation

Army’s 773rd administers mobile COVID-19 testing during DEF21

Image of Three military personnel, wearing masks and lab coats, pose for a picture in an Albanian lab. Three members of the laboratory COVID-19 testing team (left) Army Capt. Fawn OLeary, medical service officer, (middle) Army Capt. So, chemical officer and (right) Army Maj. Brooke Spridgen, lab officer, assigned to 773rd Civil Support Team, 7th Mission Support Command, take a well deserved break while administering COVID-19 testing during DEFENDER-Europe 21 at Kucove, Albania in May 2021. (Photo by Army Staff Sgt. Thomas Mort.)

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Coronavirus | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Readiness Capabilities

A five-member laboratory COVID-19 testing team assigned to the Army’s 773rd Civil Support Team, 7th Mission Support Command, administer COVID-19 testing for unit movement throughout Albania, from April through early June 2021.

“We were the first ones to arrive and have been out here testing all of the units coming to Albania,” said Army Maj. Brooke Spridgen, lab officer, 773rd Civil Support Team, 7th Mission Support Command. “We also tested a large unit, the 7th TBX (a transportation brigade out of Fort Eustis, Virginia) of approximately 600,” added Spridgen.

The five Soldier team is the only COVID-19 testing capable unit outside of Germany, during DEFENDER 21.

“We can do same day testing for those here in Albania so they can get released from ROM [restriction of movement] quicker in order to start their mission,'' explains Spridgen. “Otherwise it's collected then has to be shipped back to Germany…. and go through customs and public health command.”

Once samples are tested and documented on a spreadsheet, the ISOFAC team and the unit's provider are notified. The team of five will complete about 3,000 tests during their DEFENDER 21 mission.

They work closely with the Isolation Facility Team (ISOFAC), which goes out and picks up samples for testing. The ISOFAC team also brings Soldiers food and picks them up from their respective training site.

The team deployed with a truck that is normally designed to test chemical and biological warfare. They can set up anywhere in the field and run 24-hour missions if necessary.

All of the equipment necessary for COVID-19 testing along with a communications suite for sending out immediate test results is located inside of the truck. Live COVID samples can be opened and tested safely inside the “glove box” of the truck.

“It’s very interesting to be in the middle of it [the COVID-19 pandemic],” concluded Army Capt. Shawna So, chemical officer, assigned to the 773rd Civil Support Team, 7th Mission Support Command. “I think COVID kinda threw things sideways for everybody but to have this new mission set has been amazing.”


As the only U.S. Army Reserve forward stationed command in Europe, nearly 400 soldiers from the 7th Mission Support Command are participating in DEFENDER-Europe 21 to provide planning and support in a variety of specialties: security, coordination, medical, transportation, civil affairs, CBRN and liaisons.

You also may be interested in...

Corpsman Care during Atlantic Ocean ops on MSC ship

Article Around MHS
8/4/2022
Military medical personnel performing emergency surgery

There’s a reason why U.S. Navy independent duty corpsmen are found assigned on isolated platforms from the wide expanse of the Indo-Pacific Theater to the far reaches of the Atlantic Ocean.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Global Health Engagement

Wellness Fair Showcases Ample Resources at Naval Hospital Bremerton

Article Around MHS
8/2/2022
Military personnel demonstrating a grip therapy

Naval Hospital Bremerton hosted a holistic Wellness Fair in late July 2022.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Performance Nutrition: Fuel Your Body and Mind | Total Body Preventive Health - Dental, Medical & Mental | Nutritional Fitness | Health Readiness Support

Soldiers Not Immune to Damage of Sun's Rays

Article Around MHS
7/28/2022
Soldiers not immune to damage of sun’s rays

Some soldiers have a greater risk for developing skin cancer than others. For July’s UV Safety Awareness month, soldiers should be aware of their risks and how to reduce their chances of skin cancer.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness | Summer Safety

Mind-Body Mental Fitness

Article Around MHS
7/27/2022
Mountain view

The lifestyle of active duty service members and their families comes with unique stressors that can often be compounded by living overseas. What most people don’t realize is that stress is a normal part of life. The feelings of stress are just indicators that something in our life needs attention, and even presents a possibility for positive change and growth.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Physical Fitness | Psychological Fitness | Stress | Mental Health is Health Care

Teddy Roosevelt, Navy Medicine, and the Birth of Physical Readiness

Article Around MHS
7/25/2022
Military personnel in exercise drill on deck of Navy ship

Today’s U.S. Navy espouses a “culture of fitness,” and “physical readiness,” but this was not always the case. In the early 1900s, many including the president himself, Theodore Roosevelt, were appalled by the lack of physical conditioning in the Navy.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Physical Fitness

Family Care Plan Sustains Unit Readiness

Article Around MHS
7/20/2022
Military personnel hugs family member

A Family Care Plan (FCP) is a method by which the Army ensures a Soldier’s Family is taken care of when the Soldier is absent due to military requirements.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support

Power Plate: Eat to Fuel Your Performance

Article Around MHS
7/19/2022
Infographic for Power Plate

Food is our secret weapon. When planned and executed well food can supply everything our bodies need to thrive, whether we’re running a marathon or taking a rest day.

Recommended Content:

Performance Nutrition: Fuel Your Body and Mind | Health Readiness & Combat Support | Nutritional Fitness

Medical Airmen Crew Ambulance, Keep Mission Ready

Article Around MHS
7/18/2022
Military personnel inspect an ambulance

Airmen with the 75th Medical Group here are staying mission ready by crewing Hill AFB’s ambulance service alongside firefighters from the 775th Civil Engineer Squadron’s Fire and Emergency Services Flight.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Emergency Preparedness and Response

Dental Health Aboard USS Tripoli

Article Around MHS
7/14/2022
Military dental personnel working on a patient

The USS Tripoli is operating in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations to enhance interoperability with allies and partners and serve as a ready response force to defend peace and maintain stability in the Indo-Pacific region.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Dental Health | Global Health Engagement

Fort Hunter Liggett First in Army to Receive Prehospital Whole Blood Transfusion Capability

Article Around MHS
7/14/2022
Military medical personnel standing by EMS vehicle

Army Garrison Fort Hunter Liggett’s remoteness, and the robust efforts of Fire Captain Devon Haggie allowed the installation to be the first in the Army and Department of Defense to receive the life-saving capability to transfuse whole blood by its Emergency Medical Service (EMS).

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Health Readiness & Combat Support | French Freeze-Dried Plasma Use in the DOD

Medical readiness exercise provides real world humanitarian relief to local Moroccan population

Article Around MHS
7/11/2022
Medical readiness exercise provides real-world humanitarian relief to local Moroccan population

The Utah Army National Guard Medical Detachment, the U.S. Army 30th Medical Brigade, and the Royal Moroccan Army collaborated to provide real-world humanitarian assistance to the local population here while simultaneously conducting medical readiness training during African Lion 2022.

Recommended Content:

Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief | Health Readiness & Combat Support

137th SOMDG Medical Personnel Conduct SPP Visit to Azerbaijan

Article Around MHS
7/8/2022
Military medical personnel conducting simulation

Members of the Air Force's 137th Special Operations Medical Group (SOMDG) traveled to Azerbaijan to conduct a combat casualty care knowledge exchange with Azerbaijan Operational Capabilities Concept (OCC) Battalion doctors and medical noncommissioned officers during a State Partnership Program (SPP) visit to Baku, Azerbaijan in late June.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support

Wagging tails and smiling faces: Therapy dogs bring comfort to Medical Center staff

Article Around MHS
7/6/2022
Military personnel with support dog

Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune staff are receiving comfort and support from four-legged friends. For the past several months, Beasley the Basset Hound, has been making her rounds in her Red Cross volunteer vest, providing treats for humans in the form of pets and cuddles.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Psychological Fitness

Operational Readiness Training A Littoral Away for NMRTC Bremerton Corpsmen

Article Around MHS
7/5/2022
Navy Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Don Wilwayco

NMRTC Bremerton has formed a unique partnership to help ensure there’s a ready medical force capable of supporting fleet mission – and medical - readiness.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Health Readiness & Combat Support

Task Force Med Soldiers compete in Crusader Challenge during Kosovo deployment

Article Around MHS
7/1/2022
Military medical personnel in rescue drill

Army Soldiers with the 547th Medical Company (Area Support), 56th Multifunctional Medical Battalion, 62nd Medical Brigade, participate in Crusader Challenge 2022.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support
<< < 1 2 3 4 5 > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 5
Refine your search
Last Updated: June 08, 2021

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.