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The United States Army Medical Research Unit-Europe (USAMRU-E) was established on September 1, 1977 in Heidelberg, Germany as a special foreign activity of the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR). The original mission of the unit was to conduct research examining psychosocial influences on the causes, cures, and prevention of psychiatric battle casualties. USAMRU-E’s focus expanded over time to include protecting, optimizing, and sustaining Soldier and Family behavioral health and resilience.

Throughout its history, USAMRU-E has conducted operationally-relevant research that includes work on the Unit Manning System, Operation Desert Storm, Operation Provide Promise, Operation Joint Endeavor, Task Force Falcon, Operation Iraqi Freedom/Joint Endeavor, and Operation Enduring Freedom. USAMRU-E’s research was nested under and supported key strategic initiatives/programs such as Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness, the Army Surgeon General’s Performance Triad, and the Army’s Ready and Resilient Campaign. USAMRU-E also has a proud and robust history of working with NATO, Partnership for Peace countries, and Allies across EUCOM and AFRICOM, strengthening strategic partnerships in behavioral health research.

USAMRU-E was a vital part of the U.S. Army in Europe for 38 years, starting its mission in Heidelberg and relocating to Sembach, Germany in 2013 as part of the transformation/force restructuring of Army Medicine in Europe. USAMRU-E officially closed its doors in Germany on June 17, 2015 and relocated to Joint Base Lewis McChord (JBLM), WA, in order to align itself with the US Military’s strategic focus on the Pacific region. Along with this relocation, the unit was redesigned as the United States Army Medical Research Directorate-West (USAMRD-W). With the emphasis on the unit’s mission remaining the same, the goal is to build a new future on a proud past.

USAMRD-W is a deployable research team that conducts applied behavioral health and performance research through its rapid response capability. USAMRD-W leads applied field studies in deployed, training, and home station environments to identify emerging behavioral health concerns along with tracking the prevalence of existing issues for the Force. The unit also guides potential training and intervention efforts to improve physical and psychological health and well-being throughout the Pacific region.

The team has already had great success in building key relationships with I Corps, Western Regional Medical Command, Regional Health Command-Pacific, Madigan Army Medical Center, and many of the operational units and behavioral health teams at JBLM.