An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : Media : News : News Article View
NEWS | Nov. 18, 2022

Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery all-in during Keen Sword 23

By Grady Fontana

CAMP FOSTER, OKINAWA, Japan -- While elements of Naval Medical Forces Pacific (NMFP) deployed to Okinawa prefecture, Japan, and participated in exercise Keen Sword 23 (KS23), Nov. 10-19, the Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (BUMED) took a whole Navy Medicine approach in the medical planning and set the conditions that enabled major involvement in support of KS23.

“This exercise shows the power of Navy Medicine as part of an integrated Naval combat capability,” said Rear Adm. Darin K. Via, deputy surgeon general of the Navy and deputy chief, BUMED. “There was operational planning and coordination across the Navy-Marine Corps team and at all levels across One Navy Medicine. This exercise lets us better evaluate how we deploy and run an expeditionary medical facility (EMF) in support of major combat operations. It was a successful test of how our units can organize, train and equip forces for force employment by the combatant commands.”

Keen Sword 23 is a biennial, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff-directed, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command-scheduled, and U.S. Pacific Fleet-sponsored field training exercise (FTX). The joint/bilateral FTX runs through Nov. 19. KS23 is designed to enhance Japan-U.S. combat readiness and interoperability while strengthening bilateral relationships and demonstrating U.S. resolve to support the security interests of allies and partners in the region.

In KS23, Navy Medicine exercised the employment of expeditionary hospitalization on the First Island Chain with bilateral engagement with the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF). The First Island Chain refers to the first chain of major Pacific archipelagos out from the East Asian continental mainland coast.

U.S. Indo-Pacific Command requested Navy Medicine provide an EMF and supporting elements to meet capability gaps in the First Island Chain, with EMF capability to receive, triage, treat, and process casualties in a mass casualty event.

BUMED provided a small headquarters element from NMFP, out of Naval Base San Diego, and EMF 150-Alpha, out of Camp Pendleton, Calif., to support medical-related exercise scenarios at Camp Foster, Marine Corps Base S.D. Butler, Okinawa prefecture, Japan.

To facilitate planning, BUMED flexed its recent organizational restructure that closely aligns functions with Navy operational commands. This included the creation of a Maritime Headquarter (MHQ) and Maritime Operations Center (MOC) at BUMED that better enabled the command to integrate into the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command planning process.

In addition to the NMFP’s HQ element and EMF 150-A, Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command (NMRTC) Okinawa and Yokosuka provided additional mass casualty scenario involvement.

With Navy Medicine units working in concert, the BUMED assets integrated with a JGSDF medical base at a Naha hospital in Okinawa, and executed mass casualty scenario assessment and response drills, receiving casualties from III Marine Expeditionary Forces aid stations and JGSDF dispensaries.

BUMED involvement in KS23 demonstrated a new laser focus on readiness and operational medicine—man, train and equip.

“As we pivot to embrace our new mission set and organizational structure, NMFP and all subordinate commands will continue to support the warfighter,” said Rear Adm. Guido F. Valdes, commander, NMFP. “We achieve this support by ensuring our operational platforms are optimally manned, trained, and equipped; the warfighter is physically and mentally ready to fight tonight; the installation and warfare commander are fully supported; and we remain on the cutting edge of health and medical research to enhance deployment readiness of the Joint Forces.”

In the past, Navy Medicine played a large role in the execution of the military healthcare mission at military treatment facilities (MTF). In the National Defense Authorization Acts for Fiscal Years 2017 and 2019, Congress called for changes in the military health system (MHS), including the transfer of all MTFs to the Defense Health Agency by Sept. 30, 2021.

Navy Medicine participation in a large bilateral and joint exercise of this scale is a first since the recent MHS transformation.

“BUMED hasn’t participated in an exercise like this, to this scale in a long time,” said Lt. Cmdr. Jefferson M. Moody, director of future plans, N55, and MHQ/MOC future operations director at BUMED. “KS-23 serves as an FTX environment for Navy Medicine force elements to maneuver with the joint force and bilateral partnerships and promote HSS (health services support) interoperability.”

Naval Medical Forces Pacific provides oversight for 10 NMRTCs, on the West Coast and Pacific Rim that man, train, and equip medical forces, primarily in military treatment facilities. NMFP also oversees eight research laboratories that deliver cutting edge health and medical research to enhance the deployment readiness and survivability of our Joint Forces.
 

CONNECT WITH USINDOPACOM
Facebook

Like Us
Twitter
337,296
Follow Us

ENGAGE & CONNECT MORE WITH PACOM

                                                 

IN THE USINDOPACOM NEWS
13th Marine Expeditionary Unit conducts HA/DR exercise as part of CARAT/MAREX 2023
MULLIKULAM, Sri Lanka (Jan. 23, 2023) – U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Gage Wesley, a water support technician with Combat Logistics Battalion 13, 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, gives a Sri Lanka Navy medical officer a sample of fresh water from a lightweight water purification system during a Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief exercise, Jan. 23, in Mullikulam. CARAT/MAREX Sri Lanka is a bilateral exercise between Sri Lanka and the United States designed to promote regional security cooperation, practice humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, and strengthen maritime understanding, partnerships, and interoperability. In its 28th year, the CARAT series is comprised of multinational exercises, designed to enhance U.S. and partner forces’ abilities to operate together in response to traditional and non-traditional maritime security challenges in the Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Brendan Custer)
Feb. 1, 2023 - U.S. Marines and Sailors with the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit conducted a Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HA/DR) scenario as part of the Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training/Marine Exercise (CARAT/MAREX)...

U.S., Indian Airmen train side by side to sharpen airlift skills
U.S. Air Force 535th Airlift Squadron and the Indian Air Force No. 81 Squadron personnel pose for a photo during Exercise COPE INDIA 2022 at Hindan Air Base, India Nov. 18, 2022. (Courtesy photo)
Feb. 1, 2023 - On the morning of Nov. 18, 2022, with the sun peeking through a hazy horizon, the residents of Hindan Air Base, near New Delhi in northern India, were greeted by a new sight. Parked next to a neatly aligned row of Indian Air...

U.S. Indo-Pacific Commander Travels to Fiji
Adm. John C. Aquilino, Commander of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, traveled to Fiji Jan. 30-31, to reaffirm the strength of the bilateral relationship and advance shared interests in building a more peaceful, stable, and prosperous Indo-Pacific region.
Feb. 1, 2023 - SUVA, Fiji – Adm. John C. Aquilino, Commander of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, traveled to Fiji Jan. 30-31, to reaffirm the strength of the bilateral relationship and advance shared interests in building a more peaceful, stable,...

U.S., South Korea Want Peace in Indo-Pacific
Jan. 31, 2023 - Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III stressed that the goal of the U.S.-South Korean alliance is peace — not conflict — following meetings in Seoul, South Korea, today.The secretary made the remarks at a news conference...

U.S. Army Advisors Strengthen Partnership in Thailand
Sgt. 1st Class Justin Babb takes part in close quarters battle rehearsals with members of the Royal Thai Army. Babb is part of an SFAB Team assigned to Force Package 23-1, the 5th SFAB's forward-deployed element.
Jan. 31, 2023 - NAKHON NAYOK, Thailand – Three Advisor Teams from 2nd Battalion, 5th Security Force Assistance Brigade partnered with the Royal Thai Army across Thailand during a multi-month rotation into theater beginning in October 2022...