JAKARTA, Indonesia –
U.S. 7th Fleet's medical staff hosted Malaysian and Indonesian military medical teams underway aboard the flag ship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) May 22 - 25.
The training and discussions focused on the importance of medical expertise in shipboard and dive medicine, medical planning, medical evacuation procedures and techniques, as well as foreign disaster assistance and health department readiness.
"Underway training provided a venue for the U.S. Navy and our allied military medical organizations to get together strengthen relationships and learn from one another," said Lt. Cmdr. Roderick Davis, 7th Fleet lead medical planner for Malaysia and Indonesia. "The visit allowed for subject matter experts to share and discuss their nation's medical capabilities while enhancing military-to-military cooperation."
The program is part of a long-range initiative to enhance partnership and understanding with allied medical professionals in the region. In this new experience for the riders on a U.S. Navy ship, they were able to interact with the crew and witness shipboard operations such as man overboard drills, casualty transport and treatment, the routine examination process and daily medical walk-in procedures.
"It was good to experience a medical setting on a ship," said Indonesian navy Capt. Tonny Adriyanto, military medical physician. "We are not experienced with shipboard health department readiness, so we learned from people that have been doing it and this knowledge is good for us."
The exchange of information was designed not just for training but to also open the door for better communication in the future. This open communication is essential for rapid response to medical emergencies in the region.
"When foreign disasters occur, such as typhoons, earthquakes, etcetera, we will be able to coordinate and communicate more effectively," said Davis. "It is very important to learn about each others medical capabilities, procedures and techniques."
"This was the first time for us to witness how everyone works and helps each other," said Malaysian army, Capt. Nur Hidayah Binti Shamsudin, military medical officer. "We exchanged a lot of knowledge and shared information. It was a really good time.