Skip to main content

Military Health System

Test of Sitewide Banner

This is a test of the sitewide banner capability. In the case of an emergency, site visitors would be able to visit the news page for addition information.

Navy’s Global Engagement Helps Identify and Mitigate Disease

Image of Navy’s Global Engagement Helps Identify and Mitigate Disease. In support of the Military Health System, the Naval Medical Research Unit-2 is just one global entity that works with local partners to identify and combat global health threats.

Naval Medical Research Unit-2 focuses on building capacity among international partners, which has become more important than ever in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. In support of the Military Health System, their efforts in sharing information and assets have been vital to fight disease and find treatments.

Embedded in the U.S. Embassy in Singapore, “NAMRU-2 is the Navy’s forward research and development unit, primarily focused on infectious disease threats in Southeast Asia and Oceania,” said U.S. Navy Capt. Tammy Services, executive officer of NAMRU-2.

“NAMRU-2’s mission is to monitor and characterize emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases of military and public health importance, and to develop mitigation strategies against these threats in partnership with host nations, international, and local agencies in Southeast Asia,” said U.S. Navy Cmdr. Andrew Letizia, science director of NAMRU-2. “They help to increase readiness and enhance global health security through cooperative engagements, promoting capacity and capability to prevent, detect, and mitigate infectious disease threats.”

NAMRU-2 studies infectious diseases, animal hosts or reservoirs, environmental influences, and vectors of transmission in the Asian and Pacific regions. It is one of several military units in the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Division’s Global Emerging Infections Surveillance partner network, which reaches more than 70 countries worldwide. The international work of GEIS supports force health protection while enhancing global health security through prevention, detection, and response to infectious disease threats.

“Our focus is to fill in gaps of knowledge about those diseases that could pose threats to U.S. and partner nation civilian or military forces in the area,” Servies said.

Currently, NAMRU-2 is focused on collaborations in Southeast Asia and Oceania and studies with military populations across the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command area.

NAMRU-2 Outreach and Engagement in Southeast Asia

NAMRU-2 was established during World War II under the Rockefeller Foundation to study infectious diseases of potential military significance in Asia. The unit works with partner governments and agencies across the Indo-Pacific Command region.

Global health engagement activities build trust, share information, maintain influence, build capacity with partners, and strengthen U.S. national security, according to the Department of Defense.

“While GHE is not the foundational mission of NAMRU-2, by virtue of working with a diverse array of international partners, ranging from ministries of health and defense to university researchers, there is a lot of positive overlap in the structure of our cooperative projects that also meet strategic GHE objectives,” said Servies.

The collaboration benefits both NAMRU-2 and international entities.

“Our partners are experts of diseases in their regions. Their expertise is crucial in knowing where to conduct studies for the greatest impact. Host partner support is essential for any project,” said Letizia. “The benefits of these close, in-country partnerships, include better force health protection recommendations for our own troops and the advancement of science and regional public health in the host nations where we work.”

Interoperability is an added advantage with the work that NAMRU-2 undertakes. “Working side-by-side with our host nation counterparts benefits surveillance and diagnostics in both nations and helps us all learn to work together” said Servies.

An example of this collaboration is a project with a regional World Health Organization designated reference laboratory for dengue virus diagnostics and research. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 4 billion people live in areas with a risk of dengue.

“In a truly collaborative fashion, NAMRU-2 is working with this reference lab and a U.S. university collaborator to characterize the impacts of public health measures on dengue virus genetics by comparing sequences from viruses collected before, during, and following the COVID-19 pandemic,” said U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Nathaniel Christy, microbiologist for NAMRU-2. “The technology that will be used includes a new method to capture any virus, whether known or unknown. Besides the focused scientific goals of the project, a clear benefit will be that the reference laboratory will now be able to detect new, never-seen emerging viruses and report their genetic features in the event of another pandemic.”

NAMRU-2’s work aims to ensure a medically ready force now and in the future.

“All of our medical research projects are focused on improving medical readiness and the operational capabilities of U.S. and partner military forces. NAMRU-2 tries to anticipate what these medical threats might be and help in devising or testing countermeasures to them,” said Christy.

Mitigating the Next Pandemic

A key research component of NAMRU-2 work conducts disease surveillance with host nations in areas where there is a high proximity of animals living alongside humans. “This can be a prime environment for the development of diseases that can cause pandemics, such as influenza and coronaviruses,” said Letizia. “By collaboratively conducting biosurveillance with its regional partners, NAMRU-2 is contributing to a network for sentinel surveillance of diseases that ties into local host-nation laboratory networks. Our work is directly contributing to the worldwide fight to detect and responsibly report new diseases as quickly as possible. We are regularly looking for the next pandemic disease.”

An example of this work is when NAMRU-2 worked with a national center for zoonotic diseases and a school of veterinary medicine in a northern Asian country, a U.S. university, and the U.S. Army Medical Directorate of the Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences.

“In 2022, we were able to identify the first detection of a bacteria called Bartonella melophagi, which is related to the bacteria that causes cat-scratch disease, and often transmitted by ticks. The bacteria causes disease in humans as well as animals. With this information, local public health officials can inform the populace of this tick-borne threat,” said Letizia. “Military public health officers and medical planners can develop policies that mitigate potential contact between warfighters and the tick vector to decrease the likelihood of infection.”

The international collaboration efforts of NAMRU-2 ultimately aim to enhance the health of warfighters worldwide.

“U.S. national security as well as global health security is enhanced as we work to improve local capabilities in INDOPACOM to prevent, detect, and treat priority disease threats,” said Servies. “If the host nation can decrease the burden of disease in their country and our troops are called in to assist in conflict or during disaster responses, our troops will be healthier which enhances our national security by maintaining a fit and healthy fighting force.”

You also may be interested in...

MHS Bug Week | Fleas

MHS Bug Week | Fleas

Prevention is key for protecting you and your pets from the diseases that fleas carry. Learn the tips and tricks to keep the fleas away. Visit for more information.

MHS Bug Week | Mosquitos

MHS Bug Week | Mosquitos

Mosquitos are small but mighty bugs that are responsible for about 750,000 deaths a year. Learn how to protect yourself from mosquitos this summer. Visit for more information.

MHS Bug Week | Ticks

MHS Bug Week | Ticks

Warm weather means more outdoor time and more ticks. Learn what simple steps you can take to protect yourself from ticks while you're outside and when you get home. Visit for more information.

How COVID-19 Public Health Emergency’s End Affects TRICARE

Article Around MHS
Immunization Clinic photo

The Public Health Emergency (PHE) for COVID-19 expired at the end of May 11. You might be wondering what this means about the state of COVID-19 or if there are changes to your TRICARE coverage.

USAMMDA Team Equips a Worldwide Force

Article Around MHS
Leaders with the U.S. Army Medical Materiel Development Activity and Regional Training Site-Medical stand for a group photo during a hospital conversion fielding at Fort Gordon, Georgia, on March 7. USAMMDA’s Force Sustainment Directorate, which worked for more than a year to coordinate the hospital center shipment, is responsible for the wholesale procurement, production, fielding, sustainment, and recovery of medical sets, kits, and outfits.  (Photo by Rick Bower, U.S. Army)

In the multi-domain battlefields of today and tomorrow, the U.S. Army’s supply priorities include more than the food, weapons, and cotton gauzes that have sustained American warfighters during past wars. A select team with the U.S. Army Medical Materiel Development Activity—the U.S. Army’s premier medical development command—work each day to field the latest and most advanced medical equipment and treatments available to protect and preserve the lives of America’s warfighters preparing for tomorrow’s conflicts.

U.S. Army Field Medical Laboratory Leaders Meet with Polish Counterparts in Warsaw

Article Around MHS
Leaders from the 1st Area Medical Laboratory meet with their Polish counterparts at the Polish Epidemiological Response Center in Warsaw, Poland. The command team from the 1st Area Medical Laboratory visited Poland in support of the U.S. Army Europe-Africa Surgeon Cell’s regional engagement efforts. (Courtesy photo)

Leaders from the U.S. Army’s only deployable medical field laboratory recently met with medical officials and chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear experts from the Polish Armed Forces. The command team from the 1st Area Medical Laboratory visited Poland in support of the U.S. Army Europe-Africa Surgeon Cell’s regional engagement efforts.

86th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron Makes History

Article Around MHS
U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Brendon Bowman, 86th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron flight examiner and emergency medical paramedic, unloads medical equipment from a C-21 Learjet at Ramstein Air Base, Germany.  (Photo by U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Jordan Lazaro)

The 86th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron embarks on the U.S. Air Force’s first-ever AE paramedic-led flight in charge of an all-enlisted medical crew.

Navy Entomology Center of Excellence Arms the Department of Defense’s Experts in the Fight for Public Health

Article Around MHS
U.S. Air Force Capt. Deanna Scheff (left) receiving pesticide application training from U.S. Air Force Ensign Benfry DeJesus (right) during the largest inter-agency pesticide certification course delivered in nearly five years on Naval Air Station Jacksonville. (Photo by U.S. Navy Lt. Nicholas Johnston)

Navy Entomology Center of Excellence staff trained and equipped active duty preventive medicine and civilian pest control personnel representing U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force, and U.S. Army during the largest inter-agency pesticide certification course delivered in nearly five years on Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Florida, Jan. 23.

Public Health Supports the Warfighter, Military Community Worldwide

U.S. Public Health Service Rear Adm. Brandon Taylor reflects on his first year as director of Defense Health Agency Public Health. He recently led a town hall discussion on the transformation and reorganization of public health capabilities within the DOD at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland.

U.S. Public Health Service Rear Adm. Brandon Taylor reflects on his first year as director of Defense Health Agency Public Health.

Protecting the Warfighter's Health and Readiness, Now and Into the Future

Article Around MHS
An anopheles mosquito specimen sample sits under the microscope during a demonstration of the U.S. Army’s medical technology development and modernization efforts, Fort Detrick, Maryland, on Feb. 23. (Photo by Summer Abdoh, U.S. Army)

A cure for a debilitating and sometimes deadly disease, new treatments for working military dogs, a snakebite antidote, and a treatment for respiratory disease! See how years of research collaborations are providing protections for warfighters in remote places like never before.

COVID-19 Registry Provides Pandemic Response Insights, Optimizes Patient Care

COVID-19 Registry Provides Pandemic Response Insights, Optimizes Patient Care

Prior to the pandemic, the DOD began deploying MHS GENESIS, the new federal electronic health record, to improve health care outcomes for our service members, veterans, and their families. Critical enterprise needs quickly came to light to combat the impacts of the COVID-19 disease.

U.S. Army, Kenya Defence Forces Offer Medical Services to Remote Kenyan Communities

Article Around MHS
U.S. Army 2nd Lt. Dorothy Chiaravalle, assigned to 69th Infantry Regiment, 27th Brigade Combat Team, New York Army National Guard, performs a mouth assessment during a medical civic action program at Archer’s Post Sub County Hospital in Kenya on Feb. 18.  (Photo by U.S. Army Cpl. Genesis Miranda)

Providing humanitarian relief at home and abroad is an essential part of the mission of the U.S. Armed forces. From cataracts to cardiac care, see how this two-day medical mission brought dire assistance and education to a Kenyan community.

Notice to Readers: Vector-borne Disease Branch Detects Borrelia miyamotoi in Human Tick Submission

female Ixodes scapularis or deer tick

Notice of emerging tick-borne pathogen detected in January 2023 by the Vector-Borne Disease (VBD) Branch of the Defense Center Public Health-Aberdeen (DCPH-A)

Update: Malaria Among Members of the U.S. Armed Forces, 2013–2022

Mosquito trap

This article provides an annual update of rates and incident infections of malaria species among U.S. service members.

Ireland Army Health Clinic Earns The Joint Commission Gold Seal Accreditation

Article Around MHS
“Earning our Joint Commission Accreditation is truly an accomplishment which took teamwork, time, and tenacity,” said U.S. Army Col. Caryn R. Vernon, commander of Ireland Army Health Clinic Commander and director of the Central Kentucky Market. The clinic was recently awarded The Join Commission Gold Seal accreditation in both ambulatory services and behavioral health and human services. (Photo by Sara Morris, Fort Knox MEDDAC)

The Ireland Army Health Clinic, in Fort Knox, Kentucky, was recently awarded The Join Commission Gold Seal accreditation in both ambulatory services and behavioral health and human services. The primary care home was also awarded an additional certification.

Page 1 of 28 , showing items 1 - 15
First < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > Last 
Refine your search
Last Updated: May 26, 2023
Follow us on Instagram Follow us on LinkedIn Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on YouTube Sign up on GovDelivery