PACAF Airmen strengthen medical readiness during Malaysia exchange
Defense Media Activity - Forward Center Hawaii
/ Published August 04, 2016
KUANTAN, Malaysia -- This year’s Asia Pacific Military Health Exchange 2016 (APMHE-16) brought nearly 500 senior military health officials from 27 countries in the region to share experiences and strengthen partnerships.
Airmen from U.S. Pacific Air Forces (PACAF), participated in plenary and breakout sessions, where they discussed the latest in military medical practices and collaborated with their partner nations on specialized and general knowledge surrounding Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HA/DR).
The command surgeon from PACAF, Col. Joseph Anderson also took the time to meet with senior military medical leaders from around the region, and discuss issues and opportunities affecting their countries from an Air Force perspective.
“A recurring theme in the discussions was medical training,” said Col. Anderson. “The international partners certainly look to us as examples of how to do medical training and the standards that we maintain, and so it’s a tremendous opportunity and request on the part of these countries for them to be able to participate in our training.”
One of the things emphasized about Aerospace medicine during one of the field training exercises was that Aerospace medicine was more than just putting a patient on an airplane and then going from point A to point B.
“It’s actually a system of patient movement, which will involve the ground and on occasion it may involve maritime forces,” said Anderson. “It’s all about command and control, it’s all about patient accountability and making sure whenever we are moving the patient, we need to be doing it safely.”
During the 5-day exchange, PACAF Airmen co-hosted a medivac demonstration with their Malaysian partners at a local Malaysian Air Force base, giving a hands-on demonstration of how to transport a patient from a helicopter to a truck, and then onto a C-130.
“It’s been going very well and what I really appreciate the most is that we get to collaborate on things like medivac and get new information from the presentations, especially the updates on Aero-physiology, and now we have collaboration with not only the U.S., but other countries as well,” said Lt Col. (Dr.) Amei Farina, an Aviation Physician for the Malaysia Armed Forces.
“Our Malaysian hosts are phenomenal,” said Anderson. “They are highly professional, especially in the aviation medicine realm, and so they are really great partners in that regard. They’ve done a phenomenal job preparing the conference, it’s been very well organized and well attended with a variety of topics. I think that everyone that attended will say it’s been well worth their time.”
This year’s theme was “Global Health Interoperability,” promoting the importance of preparing in calm in order to respond during a crisis. The conference wraps up Aug 5th.