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NEWS | July 9, 2024

A Global Approach to Blood Capabilities: Insights from the USINDOPACOM Inaugural Allies and Partners Blood Summit 2024

By Lt. Cmdr. Akakpossa Ananou, Director, Joint Blood Program USINDOPACOM Command Surgeon Office

U.S. Indo-Pacific Command held an inaugural Allies and Partners Blood Summit in Honolulu, June 4-6, 2024.

More than 90 delegates from 20 organizations, representing seven Allied and partner nations, came together to focus on international security and blood capabilities in the medical field. The summit marked a milestone throughout the international community in fostering synergy and shared purpose in addressing blood capability challenges.

During his opening remarks, U.S. Navy Capt. Jeffrey Bitterman, the USINDOPACOM Surgeon, emphasized the urgent need for blood interoperability and standardization, and he urged participants to challenge the status quo when it comes to blood products innovation, planning and distribution.

The summit was supported by three key objectives, each aimed at strengthening combined joint blood capabilities and preparedness.

The first objective was to develop a common lexicon and understanding. Reviewing modern security challenges allowed delegates to engage in constructive dialogue and knowledge exchanges that laid the groundwork for enhanced cohesion and coordination for future operations.

Delegates then worked to identify obstacles to interoperability, focusing on combined and joint blood capabilities, processes and procedures. By identifying barriers, delegates were able to pave the way for targeted interventions that enhance effective interoperability on a global level.

They also assessed existing tactics, techniques, procedures and policies to evaluate the ability of national frameworks to support blood operations in response to complex events affecting multiple nations, allies, and partners. With continuously evolving threats and the need for adaptable contingencies, the summit fostered increased readiness and resilience.

"At the heart of the discussions lies a shared commitment to improving blood management, distribution and capacity in the INDOPACOM region," said U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Akakpossa Ananou, the USINDOPACOM Joint Blood Program Director.

During the summit, participants also had the opportunity to engage in a freeze-dried plasma demonstration and witness live emergency whole-blood collection and transfusion exercises, conducted as part of the Valkyrie training program.

​The inaugural USINDOPACOM Allies and Partners Blood Summit set a precedent for proactive engagement and cooperation in safeguarding the health of nations and communities.  USINDOPACOM is committed to enhancing stability in the Indo-Pacific region by promoting security cooperation, encouraging peaceful development, responding to contingencies and deterring aggression.