U.S. Air Force Medical Service demonstrates reliable trifecta supporting patients, nation, world

When most people think of the Air Force Medical Service they probably imagine staff in the various clinics at the local military treatment facility, and they would be correct.

Whether working behind the glass barrier of the pharmacy, the private room of the mental health clinic, or in the lab, medics take care of the vital mission of keeping beneficiaries healthy and service members ready.

However, there is much more Air Force medics do.

“Air Force Medicine exists to protect our nation,” said Surgeon General of the Air Force Lt. Gen. Robert Miller. “In addition to providing medical care to military and non-military beneficiaries, Air Force medics play a key role in humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, and, of course, combat missions, delivering much needed medical and operational support to warfighters, the nation, allies and partners.”

Humanitarian Assistance

Humanitarian assistance missions push medics out of their comfort zone and force a new level of collaboration and coordination in challenging circumstances. These missions lay the groundwork to build and maintain positive connections with allies and partners, while strengthening other nations’ medical capabilities.

An International Health Specialist Program was established more than 20 years ago as part of the AFMS’s Global Health Engagements efforts by former U.S. Air Force Surgeon General Lt. Gen. Paul K. Carlton Jr., with a goal to extend the operational reach of the joint forces.

International health specialists apply regional expertise, cultural competency and foreign language proficiency to effectively engage with partner nations to build meaningful relationships.

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