Skip to main content

Military Health System

Military Medicine Joining Forces to Fight COVID-19 All Around the World

Image of A group of military personnel posing for a picture. USFJ Surgeon Cell COVID-19, 28 May 2020, USFJ Yokota AB, Japan.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response | Health Readiness & Combat Support

From the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the efforts of Navy Medicine’s research and development enterprise (NMR&D) to support everything from outbreak response to laboratory detection and warships to floating hospitals highlights the speed and relevance of military medical and scientific capabilities that help make the U.S. armed forces so strong.

From staffing aboard the Navy’s hospital ships and aircraft carriers to clinical studies at hospitals and in the field, many of Naval Medical Research Center’s (NMRC) staff members were out helping to quash COVID-19 during quarantine. Navy Capt. Charmagne Beckett, senior clinical research medical officer at NMRC’s Infectious Diseases Directorate, deployed within three days of receiving the order to the U.S. Forces Japan (USFJ) where she is now the Assistant Officer in Charge.

The USFJ Surgeon, dual hatted as the U.S. Air Force 374th Medical Group (MDG) Commander, submitted several requests for forces to support the COVID-19 mission. The additional forces allowed the standing up of the Surgeon Cell with the mission "to monitor, prevent, contain, and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 disease through direct action and collaborative efforts to preserve Warfighter readiness by keeping our service members, civilian employees, family members, and our neighboring community healthy, resilient and safe."

Multiple commands from the Navy and Air Force responded to the request with personnel from all over the country, including Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton, Wright Patterson, Randolph Air Force Base (AFB), Randolph AFB, Davis-Monthan AFB, Scott AFB and Naval Medical Center San Diego. Beckett and the 14-member team are providing knowledge, skill sets and capabilities from a variety of disciplines: preventive medicine, infectious diseases, advanced care nursing, medical planning, public health analytics and medical surveillance. Beckett and the Surgeon Cell team are providing direct support and advisement of all COVID-19 related activities.

“We are hopeful that the USFJ Surgeon Cell provides strength to the overall COVID-19 response across Japan’s sub-unified commands. Specifically, at the 374th MDG, clinical research activities were limited prior to COVID-19 but the need to establish access to potential life-saving therapeutics was great thus paving the way for speedy processing of protocol approvals and training,” Beckett said.

The 374th MDG located at Yokota AB, Japan, ensures medical readiness of the 374th Airlift Wing, 5th Air Force, the U.S. Forces Japan Headquarters staff and provides health care, including occupational health, preventive medicine and environmental protection to more than 11,000 personnel.

Working in a new environment even temporarily requires adjustments to professional routines as well as personal. The additional COVID-19 restrictions and requirements do not hinder the work efforts but they can sometimes add to the challenges and no deployment is without challenges.

“The major challenge is the requirement to gather and synthesize the rapidly evolving information regarding COVID-19. We are cautious to avoid missing important information that would threaten to impact operational missions,” Beckett said.

“This mission demands learning and adapting to a joint environment,” she added. “After 26 years on active duty, staying flexible is a personal, life-long lesson that I've continued for this mission. Things change swiftly and constantly – especially with COVID-19.”

Beckett and the Surgeon Cell team are expected to remain in Japan for roughly 170 days and they are already planning redeployments. A new rotation will replace the current team in order to maintain the critical functions. NMR&D has deployed over 30 people to the COVID-19 fight to date.

You also may be interested in...

Genome Sequencing Assists Research at Naval Health Research Center

Article
1/24/2023
Lab technicians doing genome research

Learn how unique samples from naval vessels, US-Mexico border populations, and DOD beneficiaries aided in the Naval Health Research Center’s sequencing efforts.

Recommended Content:

Research & Innovation | Coronavirus & the MHS Response | Coronavirus

U.S. Military HIV Research Lends Lessons Learned to COVID-19

Article
1/19/2023
Gloved hands working in laboratory

The U.S. military has engaged in HIV research for three decades, contributing critical lessons learned, knowledge, and expertise during the COVID-19 research and vaccine development effort.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response | DOD HIV/AIDS Prevention Program | Research & Innovation | Coronavirus

Naval Medical Research Center Uses Genome Sequencing for Variants

Article
1/12/2023
Military personnel pose for a group photo

NMRC’s efforts provided important support for sequencing and viral isolation to the Department of Defense and Military Health System.

Recommended Content:

Research & Innovation | Coronavirus & the MHS Response | Coronavirus

Military Pharmacists Face Unique Challenges While Deployed

Article
1/12/2023
Military pharmacist counting pills

Deployed pharmacists are responsible for every medication used in their clinic. That includes preparing medication kits for medics on patrol, helping prepare aeromedical evacuation patients, normal outpatient prescriptions, and in some locations, even snakebite antidotes.

Recommended Content:

TRICARE Pharmacy Operations | Health Readiness & Combat Support

USAMRIID Focuses on Genome Sequencing to Detect Variants

Article
1/5/2023
Military medical personnel in laboratory

A connected family of laboratories across the MHS allows a more rapid response to the outbreak.

Recommended Content:

Research & Innovation | Coronavirus & the MHS Response | Coronavirus

Whole Genome Sequencing at Tripler Army Medical Center

Article
12/29/2022
Dr. Keith Fong reviews data with other lab technicians

The third installment in a 6-part series highlighting the efforts of the Military Health System laboratories and the technicians who worked to identify COVID-19 variants using special sequencing technology.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response | Research & Innovation | Coronavirus

Walter Reed Army Institute of Research Implements SARS-CoV-2 Genome Sequencing

Article
12/23/2022
Military medical personnel in laboratory

This is the second article in a 6-part series that highlights the work of technicians and scientists in Military Health System laboratories who worked to identify COVID-19 variants using special sequencing technology.

Recommended Content:

Global Health Engagement | Coronavirus & the MHS Response | Research & Innovation

Military Labs Use Whole Genome Sequencing of COVID-19 Variants

Article
12/16/2022
Lab technician at work

The first in a 6-part series highlighting the work of technicians and scientists working in support of the MHS who identified COVID-19 variants using special sequencing technology.

Recommended Content:

Research & Innovation | Coronavirus & the MHS Response | Coronavirus

DOD Reduces Health Care Waste by Reusing Crutches

Article
12/15/2022
Military personnel using crutches

When military facilities faced a national shortage of an essential mobility aid, they launched a grassroots initiative that not only ensured patient care, but also created a new waste reduction model within the DHA.

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care | Coronavirus & the MHS Response

How the U.S. Military Acclimates Units to High-Altitude Operations

Article
11/28/2022
Service members on a mountain

The Military Health System takes measures to prevent and mitigate altitude sickness in service members operating at high altitudes. For best results, it’s key to acclimate units gradually and progressively.

Recommended Content:

Total Force Fitness | Health Readiness & Combat Support

Time to Get Your Flu Shot and Your COVID-19 Booster, Too

Article
10/14/2022
Senior MHS officials and medics from the Pentagon stand together Oct. 13 after receiving their flu shots and bivalent COVID-19 boosters.."

It's flu shot time. Get your COVID-19 booster at the same time.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Toolkit | Immunizations | Coronavirus

Prevent the Spread of Influenza and COVID-19 Viruses Within Your Community

Article
10/11/2022
A person getting an injection on their arm.

As families return from summer vacation and students return to school, the influenza (flu) season is approaching while the COVID-19 pandemic is still on-going.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Immunizations | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Toolkit

Bulgarian Armed Forces Demonstrate Combat Medical Advancements

Article
8/22/2022
Two medics tend to a dummy in a simulated emergency.

Bulgarian Armed Forces showed off their combat lifesaving training to a U.S. delegation Aug. 10.

Recommended Content:

Education & Training | Health Readiness & Combat Support | Global Health Engagement

Learn the Most Recent Age Requirements for COVID-19 Vaccines and Boosters

Article
8/10/2022
A man fist bumps a child.

The best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is to get your vaccines and booster shots.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Telemedicine Privilege by Proxy Expands Access to MHS Care

Article
8/10/2022
Infographic featuring Lt Col Legault

MHS has Telemedicine Privilege by Proxy: A fast, efficient process that enables providers to file one application and get permission to virtually treat patients anywhere in the MHS.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response | Telehealth Program
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 18
Refine your search
Last Updated: July 20, 2022
Follow us on Instagram Follow us on LinkedIn Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on YouTube Sign up on GovDelivery