502ND FORCE SUPPORT GROUP
The groups under the Air Force’s 502nd Air Base Wing provide the services that keep JBSA running smoothly, but under slightly different names and with slightly different responsibilities on each of the three installations. On JBSA-Fort Sam Houston, the 502nd Force Support Group is divided into two support squadrons, one dealing with morale, welfare and recreation (including community and student activity centers, and fitness, child and youth programs), and the other with dining facilities and lodging, personnel policies and procedures, and readiness.
U.S. ARMY NORTH
Headquartered at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston, this land component command is responsible for homeland defense and defensive support of civil authorities. Known as the U.S. Fifth Army during World War II, it was pivotal to the success of the Allies’ Italian campaign against the Germans, despite its heavy losses.
U.S. ARMY SOUTH
Under the U.S. Southern Command, U.S. Army South has played a crucial security role along the Panama Canal and in Latin America and the Caribbean since its inception in 1904. Today, its geographic responsibilities extend to 31 countries and 15 areas of special sovereignty and cover about 15.6 million square miles.
U.S. ARMY MEDICAL COMMAND
MEDCOM, with its headquarters at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston, oversees the Army’s global medical, dental and veterinary facilities that provide preventive care and treatment, medical research, and medical development and training.
ARMY MEDICAL DEPARTMENT CENTER AND SCHOOL
The Army Medical Department Center is where the department formulates its medical organization, tactics, doctrine and equipment. The school is where the Army educates and trains all of its medical personnel. Together, the center and school design, train, educate and inspire the world’s premier military medical force to enable readiness and strengthen America’s Army.
DEFENSE MEDICAL READINESS TRAINING INSTITUTE
By the late 1970s, the number of combat-ready medics had sunk so low that it was called a “war-stopper,” and the Defense Medical Readiness Training Institute was among congressional and military moves to rebuild. The institute is a tri-service organization staffed by U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force professionals. The institute offers both resident and nonresident joint medical readiness training courses as well as professional medical programs. Courses are offered in trauma and burn care, disaster preparedness and humanitarian assistance, as well as preparation and responses to chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive threats.
SAN ANTONIO MILITARY ENTRANCE PROCESSING STATION
U.S. Military Entrance Processing Command is composed of two geographical sectors and is staffed with personnel from all military services. Its motto of “Freedom’s Front Door” reflects the joint command’s purpose of screening and processing applicants to the U.S. armed forces. The San Antonio Military Entrance Processing Station is one of a network of 65 MEPS located nationwide and in Puerto Rico.