Skip to main content

Military Health System

Important Notice about Pharmacy Operations

Change Healthcare Cyberattack Impact on MHS Pharmacy Operations. Read the statement to learn more. 

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.

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...

Article Around MHS
Sep 15, 2023

Health Affairs Secretary Visits San Diego Facilities Discusses Importance of Readiness Quality Health Care

SAN DIEGO (Sept. 14, 2023) Dr. Lester Martinez-Lopez, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, is briefed on Naval Medical Center San Diego's (NMCSD) Bioskills and Simulation Training Center's (BSTC) capabilities by Capt. Cory Gaconnet, BSTC department head. The BSTC offers medical students, nurses, interns, residents and hospital clinical staff the opportunity to train in a virtual patient care environment using simulated patients and sophisticated technology. The center contains overhead cameras that tape the medical team's actions, so leaders can provide feedback after the simulated training. The BSTC plays a key role in maintaining patient safety and ensuring the operational readiness of all hospital staff. The mission of NMCSD is to prepare service members to deploy in support of operational forces, deliver high quality health care services and shape the future of military medicine through education, training and research. NMCSD employs more than 6,000 active-duty military personnel, civilians and contractors in southern California to provide patients with world-class care anytime, anywhere.  (Photo: Marcelo Calero)

The Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, Dr. Lester Martinez-Lopez, visited the Defense Health Agency’s San Diego Market from Sept. 13-14, touring research and medical facilities and meeting with staff to discuss the unique challenges facing Southern California’s medical treatment facilities.

Article Around MHS
Aug 28, 2023

Army Reserve-led Mountain Medic Soars to New Heights

U.S. Army Reserve critical care flight paramedics from 5-159th General Support Aviation Battalion, 244th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade, Army Reserve Aviation Command, guide U.S, Air Force Reserve medical personnel from the 302nd Airlift Wing in offloading a casualty from a HH-60 MEDEVAC Black Hawk during exercise Mountain Medic at Fort Carson, Colorado, on Aug. 14, 2023. Mountain Medic is an Army Reserve-led joint, multi-component, multi-domain aeromedical evacuation exercise geared at improving and reenforcing medical evacuation operations in a simulated large-scale combat operations environment. (U.S. Army Reserve Photo by Master Sgt. Joy Dulen)

The third iteration of the fast-paced joint operation known as Mountain Medic 2023 was conducted in August 2023. Against the backdrop of the Rocky Mountains, the exercise aimed at improving and reinforcing medical evacuation operations and skill sets while pushing its medics, pilots, and aircrews nonstop in austere environments set for large-scale ...

Article Around MHS
Aug 23, 2023

MHSRS 2023 Kicks Off with Powerful Message: Medical Readiness for the Future Fight

Team members from the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command's Medical Material Development Activity - Broad Spectrum Snakebite Antidote (BSSA) program, receive the Military Health System Research Symposium 2023 Outstanding Research Accomplishment award in team/program management in Kissimmee, Florida on August 14, 2023.  (Photo: Danae Johnson)

Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs Dr. Lester Martinez-López kicked off the 2023 Military Health System Research Symposium with a keynote speech on the morning of August 14, delivering powerful words to the more than 4,000 people attending the event. Weaving his heartfelt sentiments into an overall call for action, Martinez put the ...

Article Around MHS
Aug 17, 2023

Naval Medical Research & Development Researchers Participate in Undersea Operational Research Panel at MHSRS

Panel presenters for the Undersea Operational Research panel at the 2023 Military Health System Research Symposium

KISSIMMEE, Fla. – Medical researchers from the Naval Medical Research & Development (NMR&D) enterprise specializing in undersea health met for a panel during the 2023 Military Health System Research Symposium (MHRSR) on Aug.15.

Article Around MHS
Aug 10, 2023

U.S. Army Medical Materiel Development Activity Logisticians, Reserve Soldiers, Army Logistics Support Capstone Hospital Conversion Effort in Northern California’s High Desert

U.S. Army Reserve soldiers from across the 807th Medical Command inventory newly fielded medical equipment inside a storage warehouse at Sierra Army Depot, California, on July 19, 2023. Members of the U.S. Army Medical Materiel Development Activity, U.S. Army Medical Materiel Agency, and soldiers with the 807th MCDS began an inventory of medical supplies this week as part of a capstone field hospital conversion mission for eight Army Reserve medical commands belonging to the 801st Combat Support Hospital. (Photo: T. T. Parish/U.S. Army)

The U.S. Army Medical Materiel Development Activity, partnering with the Army Reserve’s 807th Medical Command, reached a milestone in its yearslong efforts to support U.S. Army Reserve medical commands last week, starting the final hospital conversion at the Sierra Army Depot in California.

Article Around MHS
Jul 24, 2023

Expeditionary Medical Facility Kilo Completes Readiness Exercise, Earns Deployment-Ready Status

Expeditionary Medical Facility Kilo successfully completed its Operational Readiness Evaluation in Camp Pendleton, California, June 14-21. Approximately 134 EMF Kilo personnel trained in setting up and operating a 50-bed, medical treatment facility. (Photo: U.S. Navy HM2 James Comick, Naval Expeditionary Medical Training Institute)

Expeditionary Medical Facility Kilo successfully completed its Operational Readiness Evaluation. The focus of the ORE held in Camp Pendleton, California was testing the command’s ability to stand up a fully functional field hospital, capable of operating when deployed at any location around the world.

Article Around MHS
Jun 28, 2023

88th Operational Medical Readiness Squadron Focused on ‘Fit to Fight’ Force

Brenda Couch watches over U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Ron Sparkman, a student at the 155th medical group with the Nebraska National Guard, as he checks vitals on an airman during training at Wright-Patterson Medical Center on June 13. Operational Medical Readiness Squadron was this month’s pick for “Dominate the Dirty Work,” a series of stories offering an in depth look at the hard working and dedicated individuals that often go unseen. (Photo: Kenneth J. Stiles, U.S. Air Force)

The 88th Operational Medical Readiness Squadron provides direct support to U.S. Air Force operations by promoting and sustaining force health, preventing injury and illness, restoring health, and elevating human performance. Its top priority is ensuring airmen and military members are medically ready to execute their missions at home-base and deployed ...

Article Around MHS
Jun 15, 2023

24 Nations Unite at Military Nursing Exchange to Enhance USAFE-AFAFRICA Partnerships, Readiness

Polish Air Force Medic, 1st Lt. Marzena Dudaryk, administers Tactical Combat Casualty Care during a simulation session at the U.S Air Forces in Europe - Air Forces Africa European-African Military Nurses Exchange Conference on May 31, 2023.

Nurses and medical professionals from 24 allied and partner nations, including the U.S., converged at the U.S. Air Forces in Europe - Air Forces Africa 2023 European-African Military Nursing Exchange conference, May 31 – June 2, to share medical knowledge and professional best practices with one another.

Report
Jun 1, 2023

MSMR Vol. 30 No. 6 - June 2023

.PDF | 1.55 MB

This annual issue quantifies the impacts of various illnesses and injuries in 2022 among members of the active component of the U.S. Armed Forces as well as the U.S. Coast Guard; health care burden metrics include the total number of medical encounters, including hospitalizations and ambulatory services, as well as numbers and types of individuals ...

Last Updated: July 20, 2022
Follow us on Instagram Follow us on LinkedIn Follow us on Facebook Follow us on X Follow us on YouTube Sign up on GovDelivery