Back to Top Skip to main content

Military Medicine Joining Forces to Fight COVID-19 All Around the World

A group of military personnel posing for a picture USFJ Surgeon Cell COVID-19, 28 May 2020, USFJ Yokota AB, Japan.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Combat Support

From the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the efforts of Navy Medicine’s research and development enterprise (NMR&D) to support everything from outbreak response to laboratory detection and warships to floating hospitals highlights the speed and relevance of military medical and scientific capabilities that help make the U.S. armed forces so strong.

From staffing aboard the Navy’s hospital ships and aircraft carriers to clinical studies at hospitals and in the field, many of Naval Medical Research Center’s (NMRC) staff members were out helping to quash COVID-19 during quarantine. Navy Capt. Charmagne Beckett, senior clinical research medical officer at NMRC’s Infectious Diseases Directorate, deployed within three days of receiving the order to the U.S. Forces Japan (USFJ) where she is now the Assistant Officer in Charge.

The USFJ Surgeon, dual hatted as the U.S. Air Force 374th Medical Group (MDG) Commander, submitted several requests for forces to support the COVID-19 mission. The additional forces allowed the standing up of the Surgeon Cell with the mission "to monitor, prevent, contain, and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 disease through direct action and collaborative efforts to preserve Warfighter readiness by keeping our service members, civilian employees, family members, and our neighboring community healthy, resilient and safe."

Multiple commands from the Navy and Air Force responded to the request with personnel from all over the country, including Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton, Wright Patterson, Randolph Air Force Base (AFB), Randolph AFB, Davis-Monthan AFB, Scott AFB and Naval Medical Center San Diego. Beckett and the 14-member team are providing knowledge, skill sets and capabilities from a variety of disciplines: preventive medicine, infectious diseases, advanced care nursing, medical planning, public health analytics and medical surveillance. Beckett and the Surgeon Cell team are providing direct support and advisement of all COVID-19 related activities.

“We are hopeful that the USFJ Surgeon Cell provides strength to the overall COVID-19 response across Japan’s sub-unified commands. Specifically, at the 374th MDG, clinical research activities were limited prior to COVID-19 but the need to establish access to potential life-saving therapeutics was great thus paving the way for speedy processing of protocol approvals and training,” Beckett said.

The 374th MDG located at Yokota AB, Japan, ensures medical readiness of the 374th Airlift Wing, 5th Air Force, the U.S. Forces Japan Headquarters staff and provides health care, including occupational health, preventive medicine and environmental protection to more than 11,000 personnel.

Working in a new environment even temporarily requires adjustments to professional routines as well as personal. The additional COVID-19 restrictions and requirements do not hinder the work efforts but they can sometimes add to the challenges and no deployment is without challenges.

“The major challenge is the requirement to gather and synthesize the rapidly evolving information regarding COVID-19. We are cautious to avoid missing important information that would threaten to impact operational missions,” Beckett said.

“This mission demands learning and adapting to a joint environment,” she added. “After 26 years on active duty, staying flexible is a personal, life-long lesson that I've continued for this mission. Things change swiftly and constantly – especially with COVID-19.”

Beckett and the Surgeon Cell team are expected to remain in Japan for roughly 170 days and they are already planning redeployments. A new rotation will replace the current team in order to maintain the critical functions. NMR&D has deployed over 30 people to the COVID-19 fight to date.

You also may be interested in...

Camp Pendleton Marines and civilians donate blood to save others

Article
8/12/2020
Two people in masks giving blood

Marines line up to donate blood

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Convalescent Plasma Collection Program

Army general donates COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma at Tripler

Article
8/11/2020
Man wearing mask in hospital chair giving blood

COVID-19 doesn’t discriminate against who it infects – even general officers are susceptible.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Convalescent Plasma Collection Program

DoD reiterates FDA warning on using some hand sanitizers

Article
8/11/2020
Three men in PPE examining bottles of hand sanitzer

Gel hand sanitizers are flammable and consumers must be aware of their surroundings when using them.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

COVID-19 patient treated at Evans

Article
8/10/2020
Woman in wheelchair wearing a mask, being wheeled out of hospital surrounded by crowd applauding

During her stay, [Joyce Woffenden ] was also the first patient to receive convalescent plasma at EACH.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Convalescent Plasma Collection Program

New Navy units join in the fight against COVID-19

Article
8/7/2020
Military nurse putting on PPE

This deployment marked the first use of the newly established Acute Care Team and Rapid Rural Response Team medical platforms.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Air Force updates medical courses with COVID-19 content, procedures

Article
8/7/2020
Two lab technicians wearing full PPE handling vials for testing

COVID-19 has pushed instructors and trainers to be more innovative.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Health Readiness | Combat Support

BAMC nurses: “It’s us against COVID”

Article
8/6/2020
Group of nurses at a hospital

With safety on the line, mistakes aren’t an option when it comes to PPE.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Madigan collects CCP in fight against COVID-19

Article
8/6/2020
Four people in a hospital room wearing masks

Convalescent plasma has been used for nearly a century to transfer antibodies from a recovered person to help protect another from an infection.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Convalescent Plasma Collection Program

Force Health Protection Guidance (Supplement 12) -Department of Defense Guidance for Personnel Traveling During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandemic

Publication
8/6/2020

This memorandum supplements requirements in references (a), (b), and (c) with respect to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), and replaces reference (d). It provides pre- and post­travel guidance for purposes of force health protection (FHP) of Service members, DoD family members, DoD civilian employees, and DoD contractor personnel.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

DHA to recognize COVID-19 front-line innovators and leaders

Article
8/5/2020
Hospital Corpsman administers a COVID-19 test to service member aboard the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Essex.

Who are the COVID-19 change makers?

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Patient Safety | Patient Safety Champion Recognition Program

Indiana National Guard continues to train in the COVID-19 environment

Article
8/5/2020
Soldiers in the field, wearing masks and testing equipment

Training in a time of COVID-19

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Health Readiness

One Airman’s Life of Service – in and out of uniform

Article
8/5/2020
Man wearing mask checking inventory on shelves

Serving the nation is a way of life for one Airman

Recommended Content:

Armed Forces Medical Examiner System | Combat Support | Total Force Fitness

MHS asks COVID-19 recovered to donate plasma for seriously ill

Article
8/4/2020
Woman wearing mask and PPE holding a bag of plasma

Plasma donations needed in the fight against COVID-19

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Convalescent Plasma Collection Program

MTFs plan and prepare to face any emergency or disaster

Article
8/4/2020
Hospital personnel surrounding a patient

Military hospitals make emergency plans and conduct practice drills long before a natural disaster strikes.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Emergency Preparedness and Response

Air Force mental health team provides for deployed troops

Article
8/4/2020
U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Nathan Davis, conducts a weekly Disaster Mental Health battlefield circulation walk around Quarantine Town.

The Disaster Mental Health team helps combat the stressors of the novel coronavirus and improves the overall well-being of service members of Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar.

Recommended Content:

Mental Health Care | Mental Wellness | Coronavirus
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 16

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.