TWINSBURG, Ohio, March 30, 2018 — “This is a historical moment,” said Army Col. LaConnia Dandy, commander of the Army Reserve’s 256th Combat Support Hospital, “because CSHs don’t jump.”
Jumping, or moving a hospital on the battlefield to maintain proximity to advancing units, is a large logistical undertaking.
A CSH, pronounced “cash,” is so large that moving one after it’s been established requires several days of packing equipment and tearing down tents, and outside resources to physically pick up the equipment crammed into containers capable of holding more than 500 cubic feet of materiel, and flatbed trucks to haul the hospital to the new location.
“Historically, because CSHs are huge, we require lift support to move,” explained Dandy. “As a combat support hospital, we are not very agile and we can’t sustain ourselves without the assistance of other support companies.”
The 256th Combat Support Hospital has been identified as a Ready Force X unit, which are Army Reserve units expected to maintain a readiness posture that would allow it to deploy within days or weeks. The 256th CSH is postured to be the next hospital to be deployed.
“Based on the current threat, jumping the CSH is a necessary capability because the survivability of soldiers depends on it,” Dandy said.