SINGAPORE -- Medical professionals and leaders from across the Department of Defense engaged with partner nation colleagues while participating in the Asia Pacific Military Health Exchange 17 (APMHE) in Singapore May 23-26.
The APMHE is a multilateral military health cooperation forum that brings medical professionals together from allied and partner nations across the Indo-Asia-Pacific region to create dialogue and exchange knowledge on critical health care challenges and medical readiness initiatives.
“The partnerships formed at APMHE are absolutely essential in responding to Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Relief (HA/DR) missions,” said Rear Adm. Brian Pecha, Command Surgeon, U.S. Pacific Command. “The ability for senior medical leaders to know one another and have the ability to pick up the phone and talk to someone they know when asking for assistance is very helpful.”
Pecha went on to explain that the Indo-Asia-Pacific is in what scientists call the “Pacific Ring of Fire” due to the frequency and intensity of natural disasters. Pecha said it’s not about if, but when, partner nations will need to work collectively to contend with disasters and bring medical professionals together.
“If you look at history, we have not been involved in combat operations in the Pacific in nearly 75 years,” Pecha said. “However, every year there are natural disasters, where the U.S. works closely and collaborates to assist partner nations. The Asia Pacific Military Health Exchange, along with all of our training, focuses primarily on what we are going to encounter now as opposed to what we might have to do in the future.”
The Asia Pacific Military Health Exchange emphasizes a cooperative approach providing U.S. military medical professionals the opportunity to engage with partner nation medical colleagues in an open forum of exchange.
“APMHE is an event that brings many nations together to understand each other’s capabilities; how we approach a situation may be different from the way one of our partner nations solves it,” said Rear Adm. Terry Moulton, U.S. Navy Deputy Surgeon General. “Learning from each other and partnering with each other strengthens the stability of the region and our cooperation as militaries.”
Subject Matter Expert Exchanges like the Asia Pacific Military Health Exchange are based on common goals that provide a significant benefit to the security of participating countries by increasing medical and health cooperation among allied and partner nations.
The ability to employ medical care and resources is paramount to the U.S. Pacific Command’s (PACOM) mission. Working with Indo-Asia-Pacific military senior leaders and delegates, the Asia Pacific Military Health Exchange enhances multilateral cooperation and advances PACOM goals of interoperability and regional stability.