By MAJ (MDDF) Bryan Fischer
Maryland Defense Force Public Affairs
8 May 2015
As dawn broke over Baltimore City, a few miles away Maryland Defense Force (MDDF) personnel were loading up their gear preparing to deploy alongside their Maryland Army National Guard (MDARNG) counterparts to stand up a field hospital at Oriole Park at what would become known as Forward Operating Base (FOB) Raven. During the recent State of Emergency in Baltimore, the Maryland Defense Force, Maryland’s uniformed volunteer state military force mobilized forty-three key personnel to complement and augment Maryland National Guard forces deployed to Baltimore.
With doctors, nurses and other medical support personnel at FOB Raven to logistics support personnel pitching in at the Pikesville Military Reservation (PMR) to help de-mobilize the Maryland National Guard (MDNG) as it returned from the city, the MDDF played a key role in the recent mission. MDDF personnel were also embedded into Joint Forces Headquarters (JFHQ) at the Camp Fretterd Military Reservation.
At FOB Raven, the Maryland Defense Force 10th Medical Regiment personnel provided medical services over the course of five days of sustained operation. The MDDF also provided medical personnel at the Fifth Regiment Armory as well as Chaplain support at the Fifth and two other troop staging areas. MDDF forces have not seen a longer deployment since the deployment to Jefferson Parish, Louisiana during Hurricane Katrina relief in 2005. Meanwhile, MDDF operations officers were embedded into the planning and operations staff at Camp Fretterd providing real time updates to command and control and ensuring that personnel were deployed to maximum effectiveness.
As calm had returned to the streets of Baltimore, the next major mission would be to ensure that all Maryland National Guard personnel returned home efficiently and quickly. The Reverse JRSOI (Joint Reception, Staging, Onward Movement, and Integration) Operation commenced on Friday morning and the call came out for additional MDDF support. The MDDF personnel mobilized to support the JRSOI effort allowed MDNG personnel with specialized logistics training to be used more effectively as MDDF personnel backfilled for them as force multipliers.
The MDDF supplied personnel to the Joint operations ranged from private first class to colonel. With less than 6 hours notification, the MDDF was able to provide critical professional and technical support to the emergency operations proving once again that nearly 100 years on, the Maryland Defense Force is “Ready When Called. “
The Maryland Defense Force (MDDF) is the State’s uniformed volunteer military unit providing professional and technical assistance to the Maryland Military Department. Established in 1917, the MDDF consists of nearly 450 personnel who perform legal, engineering, finance, medical, chaplain, field support and ceremonial services for the State of Maryland. For more information: www.mddf.maryland.gov.