SAN ANTONIO –
U.S. Army Medical Department, Health Readiness Center of Excellence, on Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas hosted a visit by German Allies, 75 years to the day of the Normandy invasion that marked the beginning of the end of Nazi occupation in Europe.
Though a D-Day discussion was not on the agenda, its impact and the subsequent end to the Nazi dictatorship in Germany was apparent and palpable to the key leaders during the visit on June 6, 2019. The sacrifices made in our past were honored by choosing to focus on our future with one of America's closest allied countries.
Joseph M. Harmon III, deputy to the commanding general, HRCoE, hosted Maj.Gen. Gesine Krüger, commander, German Bundeswehr Medical Academy, and a delegation of German medical professionals to further strengthen the bonds and interoperability programs between our two nations.
During the visit, Krüger and her delegation received the HRCOE command overview and international programs briefs. They also toured and observed training at the Critical Care Flight Paramedic and Tactical Combat Medical Care courses and participated in a key leaders' luncheon.
Additionally during the two-day visit, the delegation toured the facility where HRCoE's 68W, combat medics, are trained through the Department Combat Medic Training at the Medical Education and Training Campus. While at METC, the group received a campus overview brief and visited Hospital Corpsman Basic Training, the Aerospace Medical Service Apprenticeship, and the Surgical Technician Program.
The visit to HRCoE concluded with discussions among key leaders from Defense Medical Readiness Training Institute, Joint Medical Executive Skills Institute, and the Defense Medical Modeling and Simulation Office.
Col. Kai Schlolaut is the German Health Foreign Liaison Officer at the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense, Health Affairs, located in Falls Church, Virginia. Schlolaut, who has been a LNO for three years helped plan the visit and accompanied the delegation to JBSA.
"The United States-German military medical partnership and our interoperability is crucial. We deploy together and we save lives together," Schlolaut said. "Therefore, we focus in our structured cooperation on opportunities to train with each other, exercise with one another, exchange knowledge in public health and preventive medicine, and, in (the) future, conduct research together."
The next group of German International Military Students, or IMS, arrive in late summer and are scheduled to participate in the Medical Strategic Leadership Program and attend the Combat Medic Specialist, Advanced Trauma Life Support and Combat Casualty Care courses.
Annually, HRCoE trains over 220 international students from 54 different allied and partner nations; 84 of the more than 380 courses taught at the center are also available through international partnerships.
Over the last five fiscal years, the German military has an average of nearly 30 students per year who attend these types of professional military education leadership development courses, technical and predeployment courses, and observer training at JBSA.
The IMS and LNO programs bolster foreign relationships with the United States as international Soldiers learn about our military's standards and policies and foster democratic values in their military members. These partnerships help better develop current and future capabilities and improve standardization and interoperability between the U.S. and our Allies and partners.
The HRCoE has enjoyed a long-standing and cohesive relationship with our German counterparts for many years. This visits are critical to helping better understand the operational environment and the critical capabilities each brings to the fight.
Harmon noted, "Maj. Gen. Krüger has invited us to visit the Bundeswehr Medical Academy and Ministry of Defense operational medical units to continue the dialogue of mutual support in medical education, training, and organizational design in support of Allied Forces in any future Large Scale Combat Operations."
HRCoE leadership look forward to the opportunity in the near future to take Krüger up on her offer.