The August 2007 earthquake in Peru resulted in the loss of critical health infrastructure and resource capacity. A regionally located United States Military Mobile Surgical Team was deployed and operational within 48 hours. However, a post-mission analysis confirmed a low yield from the military surgical resource. The experience of the team suggests that non-surgical medical, transportation, and logistical resources filled essential gaps in health assessment, evacuation, and essential primary care in an otherwise resource-poor surge response capability. Due to an absence of outcomes data, the true effect of the mission on population health remains unknown. Militaries should focus their disaster response efforts on employment of logistics, primary medical care, and transportation/evacuation. Future response strategies should be evidence-based and incorporate a means of quantifying outcomes.