Subscribe
Soldiers salute during a ceremony at Lombardo Field on Thursday to mark the deactivation of the 52nd Medical Evacuation Battalion and activation of the 168th Multifunctional Medical Battalion.

Soldiers salute during a ceremony at Lombardo Field on Thursday to mark the deactivation of the 52nd Medical Evacuation Battalion and activation of the 168th Multifunctional Medical Battalion. (Ashley Rowland / S&S)

YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea — Officials inactivated a medical battalion while activating a new one Thursday as part of a 3½-year transformation of U.S. Forces Korea’s medical forces.

The changes to the 18th Medical Command, made during a ceremony at Yongsan Garrison’s Lombardo Field, are part of a larger reorganization of the U.S. Army and the 8th U.S. Army.

“We’re making sure we have the right kind of units to survive on the modern battlefield,” said Col. Gregory Jolissaint, commander of 18th MEDCOM and the 121st Combat Support Hospital.

The changes included inactivating the 52nd Medical Battalion Headquarters, inactivating the 168th Medical Battalion (Area Support) and activating the 168th Multifunctional Medical Battalion.

Col. Jolissaint said transformations are affecting 500 soldiers in South Korea, about 100 of whom will have to move to new bases.

“We wanted to make sure we disrupt as few lives as possible — not only for our customers but for our soldiers,” he said.

Lt. Col. Jeffrey Foe, commander of the 52nd Medical Battalion, said the new 168th will absorb many of the 52nd MB’s positions.

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up