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Military Health System

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The Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort pulls away from Canton Pier for a short notice humanitarian deployment to Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The ship, with a crew of nearly 850 personnel including 550 U.S. Navy medical service members, will assist other U.S. Armed Forces elements, non-profit humanitarian organizations and search and rescue teams from around the world in bringing relief to Haitians displaced by the Jan. 12 earthquake. Comfort's Medical Treatment Facility has the capability to provide significant medical care through an emergency operating rooms, ward beds, a casualty reception area, pharmacy and intensive care area.
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Global Health Engagement

The U.S. military has a long standing history in international public health issues as a result of our responsibility to protect the health of our forces and to ensure that they are ready to deploy anywhere in the world at a moment’s notice. Global health engagement is an important priority for the Military Health System. Our work:

  • Improves the health and safety of our warfighters,
  • Expands our medical readiness, 
  • Builds trust and deepens professional medical relationships around the world, and 
  • Advances U.S. national security objectives.

DOD recognizes that global health and security are linked, and our global health engagement efforts address the intersection of these concerns. In addition to ensuring force health protection and medical readiness, DOD global health engagement efforts also address other DOD and U.S. government priorities. These include:

  • Enhancing interoperability by helping partner nations build health capacity,
  • Combatting global health threats like emerging infectious diseases and antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and
  • Supporting humanitarian assistance and disaster relief initiatives.
 

How the DOD Engages

 

Our Partners

 

Our History

 

Force Health Protection

Ensuring force health protection is one of DOD’s most critical priorities, and global health engagement is an essential part of that initiative. The U.S. military’s global reach means that our service members are affected by public health issues around the world. We have a responsibility to keep our forces medically ready and protected from all manner of global health threats, and this requires that we proactively engage these threats as comprehensively as possible.

Global Biosurveillance

 

Medical Research & Development

 

Preventive Medicine

 

Building Partner Capacity and Interoperability

Partner nation engagement, with the goal of building and supporting health system capabilities, is a critical element of global health engagement.

Mil-Mil Partnerships

 

Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief

Humanitarian assistance and disaster response are core DOD capabilities, but they are always conducted in a supporting role to assist other U.S. Government agencies. DOD has the assets and experience to deploy necessary relief personnel and resources to all corners of the globe at a moment’s notice—there is no actor better prepared to respond in times of crisis.

Positive Impact of DOD's Efforts

 

Biological Threat Reduction Program

Threat reduction entails working with our international partners to improve their capacity to detect, diagnose, and respond to the presence of dangerous pathogens and other threats.

Cooperative Biological Engagement Program

 

Global Health Security Agenda

Global health security has never been more critical to the well-being of the United States and its citizens than it is right now. Infectious diseases spread more quickly than they ever have before, as evidenced by the Ebola, Zika, and bird flu outbreaks. New bacteria and viruses are emerging, and others are growing resistant to existing antibiotics.

Global Health Security Strategy

 

Global Health Security Agenda

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Instruction: #DODI 6010.22, National Disaster Medical System

This instruction establishes policy for DOD participation in the NDMS, a joint federal, State, and local mutual aid response system, to provide a coordinated medical response, patient movement, and definitive patient care during a military health emergency, U.S. national emergency, or U.S. domestic disaster.

  • Identification #: DODI 6010.22
  • Type: Instruction
Policy
Jul 11, 2011

Guideline: DOD Support to Foreign Disaster Relief Handbook

.PDF | 15.30 MB

This handbook provides a Concept of Operations (CONOPS) and Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures (TTP) for joint forces at the operational and tactical levels tasked to perform Foreign Disaster Relief (FDR) operations in support of the Department of State and US Agency for International Development and in coordination with International Organizations ...

  • Identification #: N/A
  • Type: Guideline
Policy
May 17, 2010

Instruction: #DoD Instruction Number 6000.16, DoD Instruction 6000.16: Military Health Support for Stability Operations

This Instruction establishes policy, assigns responsibilities, and provides instructions for military health support of stability operations in accordance with the authority in Reference (a). Military health support for stability operations is hereafter referred to as medical stability operations (MSOs).

  • Identification #: DoD Instruction Number 6000.16
  • Type: Instruction
Last Updated: October 30, 2023
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