U.S. Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) recently hosted representatives from 11 Partnership for Peace and NATO countries at the inaugural International Health Symposium for Military Medical Personnel at Ramstein Air Base, Germany.
The symposium provided a forum to discuss common problems and solutions for issues such as medical logistics, enlisted force development and senior leadership challenges.
In attendance were military medical professionals from Armenia, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Georgia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, and Ukraine. Such meetings serve as an important networking tool among nations to share solutions to common problems and develop relationships for future interactions.
“If we are going to partner with these nations – it may be on a humanitarian disaster or it may be on a war – we need to have a common frame of reference so we understand each other’s capabilities and we have a similar capability set,” said Col. Chuck Tedder, USAFE Chief of Medical Readiness. “When we looked at the countries we support, one of the common gaps that we found was the medical logistics capability to support their deployed and in garrison units… so, we decided we’d focus on medical logistics.” (USAFE Public Affairs)
Medical logistics representative from each country were invited to the symposium to tour several facilities in the region and to dialogue on challenges faced by each nation and potential solutions to common problems. Among the highlighted units were the 86th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron and the 86th Contingency Aeromedical Staging Facility (CASF).
The CASF contains approximately 100 personnel including nurses, medics and flight surgeons who receive patients from the flight line and transport them to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center and back out to their return destination following treatment. The unit serves as a logistics model for the uninterrupted care of patients during transport. Since opening in 2003, the CASF has facilitated over 26,000 patients, most staying at the facility for less than a day.
Although this is the first symposium of this kind, USAFE aims to make the gathering an annual event.