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Military Health System

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. 

We have seen the positive impact of DOD’s efforts on the broader U.S. Government response to international disasters in a number of cases: 

  • In Operation Tomodochi, after the Japanese earthquake and tsunami in 2011—U.S. forces were instrumental in delivering food, water, blankets, clothing, and medical supplies to support Japanese civilian and military partners.
  • During Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, Service Members were on the ground working with the Philippine military to provide essential medical treatment and supplies.
  • During the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, Service Members were involved in constructing treatment centers and providing logistical support to stem the spread of infection.
  • In the aftermath of the devastating 2015 Nepal earthquake, U.S. military personnel were instrumental in supporting relief efforts with transportation and medical treatment, and where previous training exercises with the Nepalese military significant improved their capacity to respond to the crisis. 

These engagements have provided invaluable hands-on experience for service members that helps improve our future contributions to disaster relief efforts. They demonstrate time and again the value of our partnership-building activities, as partner nations have improved their disaster response capabilities after joining U.S. military in training exercises.

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Enhancing Public Health Interoperability for the Joint Force

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Members of Army Public Health Command Europe strengthened their partnership with sister services in a U.S. Air Force led Public Health Emergency Management training exercise held at Ramstein Air Base in Germany.

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Arkansas Air Guardsmen Provide Medical Care in Guatemala

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11/8/2022
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Arkansas U. S. Air National Guard members helped provide medical care in Guatemala alongside United States and foreign military, government and civilian personnel during the Continuing Promise 2022 mission from Oct. 26 to 31.

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USNS Comfort Departs Norfolk in Support of Continuing Promise 2022

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11/4/2022
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Continuing Promise medical teams will focus on working alongside partner nation medical personnel to provide care aboard and at land-based medical sites to increase medical readiness, strengthen partnerships, and enhance the combined capabilities of the U.S. Navy and partner nations to respond to public health disasters and humanitarian crises.

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USU Alumna Honored as U.S. Air Force Flight Surgeon of the Year

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10/14/2022
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Only three years out of medical school, she tended to hundreds of evacuees fleeing Afghanistan during the August 2021 exodus from Kabul International Airport.

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USNS Mercy Completes 17th Annual Pacific Partnership Mission

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10/11/2022
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Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) returned to its homeport on Sept. 30 following completion of the 17th annual Pacific Partnership mission. Pacific Partnership is the largest annual multinational humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission conducted throughout the Indo-Pacific region.

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U.S. Africa Command Special Operations Forces Host Medical Civic Action Program in Ghana

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U.S. Army Civil Affairs members representing Special Operations Command Africa hosted a medical civic action program with Ghanaian soldiers from the 6th Infantry Battalion in Yendi, Ghana, from Aug. 31 to Sept. 1, 2022. The team oversaw the treatment of approximately 1,000 patients during the MEDCAP’s two-day duration.

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Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune Doctor Serves With the Pacific Partnership 2022

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A dermatologist assigned to Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune has returned from a summer deployment in support of Pacific Partnership 2022. U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander James Contestable served several weeks aboard the United States Navy Ship (USNS) Mercy, a hospital ship based out of San Diego.

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U.S. Embassy in the Philippines Civil Affairs Team Conducts First Responder Training in Batanes

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The U.S. Embassy Civil Affairs Team (CAT) led medical first responder training for Philippine military and civilian personnel to mark the 239th founding anniversary of the province of Batanes from June 26 to 29.

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NY Army Guard Army Reserve Medical, Veterinary, Personnel Team Up with South Africans Military to Provide Care in Rural Villages

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Fifteen U.S. Soldiers, including five from the New York Army National Guard, provided medical care to about 3,000 South African villagers in the Richards Bay area, along the eastern coast of South Africa, 100 miles northeast of Durban, during a medical readiness exercise in July.

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Medical readiness exercise provides real world humanitarian relief to local Moroccan population

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Medical readiness exercise provides real-world humanitarian relief to local Moroccan population

The Utah Army National Guard Medical Detachment, the U.S. Army 30th Medical Brigade, and the Royal Moroccan Army collaborated to provide real-world humanitarian assistance to the local population here while simultaneously conducting medical readiness training during African Lion 2022.

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How the Military Medical Forces Supported Afghanistan Evacuation

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During the military evacuation from Afghanistan in August 2021, military medical forces played a vital role in both providing urgent medical care for those fleeing the country and supporting the mental health of Afghanistan war veterans back home.

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Task Force Liberty partners with local clinic to provide dental care

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Task Force Liberty’s case management team partnered up with the local community Sept. 22, 2021, to provide routine dental care for the first time to Afghans living in Liberty Village on Joint Base, McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in Jew Jersey.

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BAMC nurse helps support vaccination effort for Afghan evacuees

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A Brooke Army Medical Center clinical nurse specialist used her training and experience to help vaccinate Afghan evacuees in Germany.

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Guardsmen team up with active duty, reserve to support Operation Allies Welcome

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National Guard members from nearly every state and territory are helping an estimated 50,000 Afghan guests by providing transportation, temporary housing, culturally appropriate food, medical screening, religious accommodations, and general support for Operation Allies Welcome.

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Army medical personnel vaccinate nearly 5,500 Afghan evacuees in less than 72 hours

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Led by the 30th Medical Brigade, and with assistance from Regional Health Command Europe and operational units around Europe, the team administered measles, mumps and rubella, or MMR, and chickenpox vaccines to provide protection for Afghan evacuees.

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Last Updated: August 25, 2022
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