NEWS | March 21, 2017

USCENTCOM Central Asian Partners Collaborate on Medical Issues

By Thomas Gagnier U.S. Central Command Public Affairs

Representatives from several countries within the U.S. Central Command area of operation attended a CENTCOM theater medical conference March 6-8, 2017 at the Medical Education and Training Campus (METC).

For the three days during the conference, participants toured the campus to learn about some of the 48 Army, Navy and Air Force enlisted medical training programs taught there, and exchanged information on military medical training of tactical level personnel.

The CENTCOM visitors were shown the laboratories where Air Force medical technicians and Navy hospital corpsmen learn to give intravenous (IV) fluids and take blood. They also visited the Nurse Synthesis Lab where high-tech human-patient, high-fidelity mannequins are used to train students to evaluate and assess “patients,” and apply the skills they have learned to provide appropriate care.

Participants visited the Department of Combat Medic Training, the largest program at METC, where Army students train to become combat medics. The CENTCOM visitors were able to observe the Combat Trauma Patient Simulator where students apply their newly learned medical skills in a simulated combat environment. This type of course demonstrates the need in having qualified personnel in the sphere of emergency medical service on the battlefield, which includes saving lives of wounded soldiers and managing evacuation to military hospitals.

During the visit U.S. and Kazakhstan representatives discussed opportunities for conducting medic training for instructors and paramedics from Kazakhstan by U.S. specialists at the Kazakhstan Ministry of Defenses’ Center for Military Medical Excellence.

Lt. Col. Bauyrzhan Zeinelov, a participant from Kazakhstan, said, “I believe both KAZ and the US military medics will benefit from future cooperation.  It will enhance the development of KAZ Military Medics."

Topics of discussion included: implementation of clinical practice guidelines; aspects of international medical education and training in the US; damage control surgical capabilities in field hospitals; blood bank concept and program; legal aspects of cooperation and establishing working relations with Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU) and USU's Center for Global Health Engagement (CGHE).

USU is the nation's only federal health sciences university that prepares students for careers in the military health system and the U.S. Public Health
Service, while USU's CGHE ensures national security by supporting the missions of the Joint Force and allies through health related capabilities.

Zeinelov felt the conference was time well spent.  "We received great resources and had some good discussions."

Col. Bakhodir Abdulakhatov, a participant from Uzbekistan, agreed with Zeinelov's assessment of the conference. "We had a very ‎good conference. And so much information that I feel we can put to use," he said.

"Among other achievements, I believe we have reached a very important milestone during the meeting," said Abdulakhatov.  "We established the process for creating a partnership between the Uzbekistan Ministry of Defenses’ Military Medical Academy and the USU and CGHE. We are looking forward to sending our doctors to attend USU courses and to participate in CGHE field training events."

The CENTCOM Theater Medical Conference visit to METC contributed to a successful training event, and aided in the continued development of capabilities that will serve to improve regional interoperability and cooperation, ultimately resulting in a resilient health service support system.