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Health Readiness & Combat Support

The Defense Health Agency is the nation’s medical Combat Support Agency, providing or augmenting medical capabilities of the Combatant Commands, the military services, federal partners and partners and allies around the world. As one of the Defense Department’s combat support agencies, DHA works to provide combat forces with capabilities they do not possess, or possess in insufficient quantity. In cooperation with the Joint Staff Surgeon and Military Department medical organizations, DHA leads the Department of Defense integrated system of readiness and health through a global health care network of military and civilian medical professionals, including more than 400 military hospitals and clinics around the world, to improve and sustain operational medical force readiness and the medical readiness of the Armed Forces.

Enhancing Military Readiness through Combat Support Capabilities

The DHA provides support for operating forces engaged in planning for, or conducting, military operations, including support during conflict or in the conduct of other military activities related to countering threats to U.S. national security. Among DHA’s most important combat support responsibilities is its work to increase readiness of U.S. forces to carry out their deployed missions.

  • The DHA supports the medical readiness of military personnel – ensuring they are healthy and safe from potential health threats through activities such as its global network of hospitals and clinics and civilian health providers, medical surveillance to detect potential health threats.
  • The DHA also supports a ready medical force – the physicians, nurses and other health professionals – who support operational forces in the field, through training and education and providing the clinical settings in which they build their skills for deployment.

The DHA fulfills its combat support responsibilities through capabilities including several components that provide crucial expertise and support to the Combatant Commands. Liaison officers within Combatant Commands enable direct contact with DHA, help the DHA better understand Combatant Command needs, and give the Combatant Commands better understanding of DHA capabilities.

The DHA is a critical enabler, working with the Military Departments to advance the health and readiness of U.S. forces and to manage the medical readiness platforms that keep the medical force ready to support operations worldwide. Working in close coordination with the Joint Staff Surgeon, the DHA provides medical-related combat support capabilities that apply across all phases of military operations, including:

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Medical readiness exercise provides real world humanitarian relief to local Moroccan population

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The Utah Army National Guard Medical Detachment, the U.S. Army 30th Medical Brigade, and the Royal Moroccan Army collaborated to provide real-world humanitarian assistance to the local population here while simultaneously conducting medical readiness training during African Lion 2022.

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137th SOMDG Medical Personnel Conduct SPP Visit to Azerbaijan

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Members of the Air Force's 137th Special Operations Medical Group (SOMDG) traveled to Azerbaijan to conduct a combat casualty care knowledge exchange with Azerbaijan Operational Capabilities Concept (OCC) Battalion doctors and medical noncommissioned officers during a State Partnership Program (SPP) visit to Baku, Azerbaijan in late June.

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Wagging tails and smiling faces: Therapy dogs bring comfort to Medical Center staff

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Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune staff are receiving comfort and support from four-legged friends. For the past several months, Beasley the Basset Hound, has been making her rounds in her Red Cross volunteer vest, providing treats for humans in the form of pets and cuddles.

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Army Experts: Rabies Risk is Not Worth It

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Operational Readiness Training A Littoral Away for NMRTC Bremerton Corpsmen

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NMRTC Bremerton has formed a unique partnership to help ensure there’s a ready medical force capable of supporting fleet mission – and medical - readiness.

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Task Force Med Soldiers compete in Crusader Challenge during Kosovo deployment

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Army Soldiers with the 547th Medical Company (Area Support), 56th Multifunctional Medical Battalion, 62nd Medical Brigade, participate in Crusader Challenge 2022.

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Provider Soldiers Learn Mental Health First Aid

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Soldiers assigned to the 3rd Division Sustainment Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division and members of the unit Soldier and Family Readiness Group, participated in the Mental Health First Aid training in Hinesville, Georgia

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Final Days in Afghanistan: Lab Techs Stepped Up to Support Withdrawal

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Beating the Stigma: Workhorse Battalion and H2F Team Up to Improve Physical Readiness

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To help counter that stigma of being "broken", the 10th Division Sustainment Troops Battalion “Workhorse,” 10th Mountain Division Sustainment Brigade, and the brigade’s Holistic Health and Fitness team, also known as H2F, joined forces to create the Unbreakable Warrior program, also known as UBW.

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How Drones Will Transform Battlefield Medicine – and Save Lives

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Brooke Army Medical Center commissioned a new, four-legged staff member with a penchant for spreading joy to the rank of United States Army major during a ceremony June 6.

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How MHS GENESIS will become essential to patients' health journey

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Army, Navy Public Health Officials Collect Weapon System-related Health Hazard Data in Support of Blast Overpressure Exposure Assessment

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A team of scientists and engineers from the U.S. Army Public Health Center and the Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center recently traveled to Fort Carson to conduct a Joint Service Member Occupational Health Assessment, also known as a JSOHA, of the M777 Howitzer—a weapon that is routinely used in military training and combat operations.

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Protecting Your Hearing and Vision is a Personal Readiness Mission

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Last Updated: July 28, 2022

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

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