This month our COVID Defense Support to Civil Authorities missions are nearing an end. For over a year, our One Navy Medicine team members supporting these missions have made a true difference in the care and survival of COVID patients throughout America. Since July 2021, we deployed more than 510 people to 24 cities. These experiences not only speak to our strong partnership with U.S. Army North, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the Department of Health and Human Services, but it also reflects our adaptability in answering the call for assistance. We quickly sent tailored medical teams with specific skill sets to meet new mission requirements. Our ability to make real-time adjustments on the biological COVID battlefield is a testament to our people, our platforms, and the high levels of performance and medical power we deliver.
Although we recognize that COVID variants will remain with us for the foreseeable future, it is time for us to refocus ourselves on our original and eternal mission – Navy Medicine exists to ensure we have a healthy, combat-ready naval force capable of winning wars, deterring aggression, and maintaining freedom of the seas.
Recently, FORCM Roberts and I traveled to Bahrain, Israel, Sigonella, and Naples to see our medical warriors in the CENTCOM and EUCOM areas of responsibility. At each location, we met with base and local leadership. While in Israel, I met with my counterpart as we strengthened our strategic relationship. We saw some exciting research the Israeli Navy is doing in diving and hyperbaric therapy – innovative endeavors that may offer opportunities for future collaboration. In Italy, we had the opportunity to host joint town halls with Lt. Gen. Ron Place, Director of Defense Health Agency (DHA), and CSM Gragg, Senior Enlisted Leader, DHA, and we were able to observe some of the incredible work our Sailors are doing in overseas. Overall, this trip reinforced our existing force readiness requirements, and the critical capabilities Navy Medicine provides to Combatant Commanders as we ensure security and stability in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.
Geopolitics often drives our global missions and where we deploy; the war in Ukraine is yet another reminder. We have seen the images of war-torn cities and people fleeing to Poland, Moldova, and Romania. As with past conflicts, we are boots-on-the-ground supporting our forces. Currently, Navy Medicine is providing medical and dental support at the Aegis Ashore clinics in Poland and Romania. Last week, we deployed a Tier 1 Forward Deployed Preventive Medicine Unit to help care for refugees in Poland. Whether in the European theater or stateside, one thing is clear: our One Navy Medicine Team is making a powerful difference in a world that has never needed it more.
Thank you for all you continue to do. Charlie Mike – Rendering Assistance.