Back to Top Skip to main content Skip to sub-navigation

U.S. Transportation Command: DoD’s manager for global patient movement

An ambulance bus backs up to the Mississippi Air National Guard C-17 Globemaster III as Airmen prepare to unload patients at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland. The bus transports the ill and/or injured to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. JBA and Travis Air Force Base, California, serve as the primary military entry points or hubs for patient distribution within the continental United States. (U.S. Air Force photo by Karina Luis) An ambulance bus backs up to the Mississippi Air National Guard C-17 Globemaster III as Airmen prepare to unload patients at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland. The bus transports the ill and/or injured to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. JBA and Travis Air Force Base, California, serve as the primary military entry points or hubs for patient distribution within the continental United States. (U.S. Air Force photo by Karina Luis)

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Military Hospitals and Clinics

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. – U.S. military C-17 Globemaster III aircraft often arrive at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, and Travis Air Force Base, California, from foreign locales, transporting cargo, but also at times, ill or injured service members returning stateside for continuing medical treatment.

As the Department of Defense’s single manager for global patient movement, U.S. Transportation Command conducts this lifesaving mission via the U.S. Air Force’s aeromedical evacuation system, which provides in-transit health care for America’s wounded warriors from the point of injury or illness to medical facilities with the level of care needed to properly treat their medical conditions.

From JBA and Travis Air Force Base, some patients, dependent on medical condition and/or service-directed requirements, are subsequently transported to other locations within the continental United States to reach the best facility for their particular circumstances.

“On a weekly basis, USTRANSCOM moves up to 40 patients from overseas to CONUS, with a broad set of final medical destinations,” said U.S. Air Force Col. John Andrus, command surgeon, USTRANSCOM. “Just like in our overseas theaters of operation, the weekly movement of DoD patients across the United States involves the USTRANSCOM Patient Movement Requirements Center–Americas, Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, validating the patient(s) and the 618th Air Operations Center (Tanker Airlift Control Center) also at Scott, coordinating the aircraft from JBA or Travis AFB to the final medical treatment destination. When military aircraft are not available, contract air ambulances are used.”

Using a hub [Joint Base Andrews/Travis Air Force Base] and spoke [final definitive care destination(s)] system, the CONUS patient distribution process can manage current workload. Contingency planning and patient movement exercises continue to refine and advance the interagency effort that would be required to accommodate a larger number of ill and injured servicemembers coming back from a large-scale conflict or contingency.

When needed, military, Veterans Affairs’, and National Disaster Medical System hospital beds across the nation are identified through a collaboration between the Departments of Health and Human Services and Homeland Security, as well as the DoD and VA. Patients are assigned and moved to those beds through a hub and spoke transportation system. For example, the Army, Air Force, Navy, and the  VA operate over 60 Federal Coordinating Centers, which serve as patient reception hubs and spokes throughout America. This system gives returning wounded warriors access to military, VA, and NDMS beds, as required.

“Established in 1984 and managed by HHS, the NDMS demonstrates a whole-of-government approach in receiving – and treating – large numbers of patients. For instance, during a contingency, such as a hurricane or earthquake, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which is the lead federal agency, would identify DOD and VA FCCs to support the contingency,” stated U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Liza Soza, U.S. Public Health Service, HHS’ liaison officer, USTRANSCOM’s Command Surgeon Directorate. “Whether in a defense support of civil authorities’ situation or conflict, FCCs serve as a critical component in the CONUS patient distribution system, enabling a coordinated and comprehensive response that enhances our wounded warfighters’ medical treatment, and ultimately, their survivability.”

Annually, the USTRANSCOM-led Ultimate Caduceus command-post and field-training exercise evaluates the command’s capability and capacity to conduct global patient movement in a contingency or conflict, as well as assesses the interoperability across services, government, and interagency partners. This year’s exercise occurs at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, in June, and will feature significant VA participation. The host installation will act as the FCC hub, distributing patients to spoke medical treatment facilities located in nine nearby metropolitan areas.

“As the lead for global patient movement, USTRANSCOM ensures the safe, secure, and sound transport of our nation’s wounded warfighters inside and outside of CONUS,” Andrus said. “Throughout the 24/7 process, our incredible team executes this unique mission with the utmost professionalism, precision, and proficiency, always putting each patient –and their medical care – first and foremost.” 

USTRANSCOM exists as a warfighting combatant command to project and sustain military power at a time and place of the nation’s choosing. Powered by dedicated men and women, we underwrite the lethality of the Joint Force, we advance American interests around the globe, and we provide our nation's leaders with strategic flexibility to select from multiple options, while creating multiple dilemmas for our adversaries.

Disclaimer: Re-published content may be edited for length and clarity. Read original post.

You also may be interested in...

DOD initiatives address the sexual health of our military

Article
2/17/2021
Image of a bacterium

STIs are important to identify and treat because they can impact service members’ health and readiness, as well as their ability to perform their duties.

Recommended Content:

Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch | Health Readiness | Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness | Men's Health | Women's Health

WRNMMC’s participation in APOLLO program furthers cancer research

Article
2/4/2021
Two groups of vials on a table

The MCC serves as the preeminent cancer research and treatment facility within the Department of Defense.

Recommended Content:

Research and Innovation | Health Readiness

MSMR Vol. 28 No. 02 - February 2021

Report
2/1/2021

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Division. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Update: Malaria, U.S. Armed Forces, 2020; Historical perspective: The evolution of post-exposure prophylaxis for vivax malaria since the Korean War; Surveillance for vector-borne diseases among active and reserve component service members, U.S. Armed Forces, 2016–2020.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Public Health

Weed Army Community Hospital staffers show off their skills

Article
1/29/2021
Medical personnel, wearing a mask, practicing skills on a dummy

Hospital staff continued to take COVID-19 precautions during the event to ensure a safe learning environment.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Readiness Capabilities

RHC-Europe Soldiers compete for Army Best Medic title

Article
1/21/2021
Soldiers in the snow, pulling a sled of materials

Army Sgt. Metcalf and Spc. Galdamez prepare to compete in the 2021 Command Sgt. Maj. Jack L. Clark Jr. U.S. Army Best Medic Competition later in the month at Fort Gordon, Georgia.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Readiness Capabilities

NH Guantanamo Bay Lt. named as Subspecialty Officer of the Year

Article
1/14/2021
Navy Lt. Ara Gutierrez, Naval Readiness and Training Command Guantanamo Bay, was selected Navy Medicine’s Medical Technology Subspecialty Junior Officer of the Year for 2020.

Gutierrez said she was genuinely surprised and honored to represent medicine’s "hidden profession.”

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness

MHS refractive surgery experts discuss warfighter readiness

Article
1/13/2021
Image of Mr. McCaffery looking at a monitor with an eye on it

Refractive surgery is any surgery that eliminates the need for glasses or contact lenses.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Vision Loss | Readiness Capabilities

DOD Launches “My MilLife Guide” Text Message Program to Boost Wellness

Article
1/11/2021
The new My MilLife Guide program supports the wellness of the military community.

DoD has launched My MilLife Guide, a new program that sends text messages designed to help the military community boost overall wellness while navigating stresses related to COVID-19.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Public Health | Total Force Fitness | Health Readiness

MSMR Vol. 28 No. 01 - January 2021

Report
1/1/2021

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Attrition rates and incidence of mental health disorders in an attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) cohort, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2014–2018; The prevalence of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and ADHD medication treatment in active component service members, U.S. Armed Forces, 2014–2018; Exertional rhabdomyolysis and sickle cell trait status in the U.S. Air Force, January 2009–December 2018.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Public Health

Health literacy focuses on empowering patients to engage in their care

Article
12/30/2020
Medical personnel, wearing a mask, inserting an IV into a patient

How patient-doctor communication improves the health care experience.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness

AFHSD’s GEIS collect data worldwide to support force protection

Article
12/22/2020
Medical personnel scanning forehead of soldier with thermometer

AFHSD/GEIS continue work with partners across the globe in their efforts to combat COVID-19 and protect military readiness.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Public Health | Coronavirus | Biological Surveillance Tools | Global Health Engagement | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

Deputy defense secretary stresses team approach in battling COVID

Article
12/10/2020
Soldier wearing mask, standing at computer monitors in an office building

The Military Health System has played an important role implementing the National Defense Strategy, Norquist said.

Recommended Content:

Military Health System Transformation | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Health Readiness | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

USAMRIID scientist recognized by French for distinguished service

Article
12/4/2020
Two military officers on stage; one handing the other a certificate

Kugelman...identified genetic markers of persistence of the Chikungunya virus.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Research and Innovation | Technology

New report finds military hearing health is improving

Article
12/3/2020
Military doctor inspecting patient's ear

Noise-induced hearing loss is decreasing for active-duty service members.

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Health Readiness | Hearing and Balance Injuries | Hearing Center of Excellence

Seven MTFs recognized by ACS for surgical care

Article
12/3/2020
Military surgeons in an operating room

The MHS hospitals were among 89 recognized facilities and 607 total military and civilian hospitals participating in the program.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Quality and Safety of Health Care (for Healthcare Professionals) | Clinical Quality Management
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 16 - 30 Page 2 of 46

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.