Ensuring unity of effort moving wounded warfighters from combat to care

  • Published
  • By Michael P. Kleiman
  • U.S. Transportation Command Public Affairs

Optimizing the care and safe transport of wounded warfighters while moving from point of injury to the final destination was the focus of the more than 200 participants attending the annual Global Patient Movement Joint Advisory Board held at Scott Air Force Base, April 2.

Hosted and chaired by the command surgeon of the U.S. Transportation Command, the four-day meeting, which included representatives from the services, various federal agencies and six foreign nations, developed recommendations for the Joint Staff on the global patient movement processes and on refining lines of effort to address this year.

As the Department of Defense’s single manager for patient movement, USTRANSCOM enables America's unprecedented patient movement capability, arranging timely and safe movement for the Nation's ill and injured in support of the combatant commands, other U.S. government agencies and key international allies and partners.

“Currently, we can meet global patient movement taskings, but if the demand increases and/or if operating in a contested environment, our ability to perform this critical mission might be impeded. The efforts of the GPMJAB advances and helps ensure the readiness of our global patient movement capability now and in the future,” said Col. John Andrus, USTRANSCOM surgeon general.

Some of the critical topics discussed at the 2019 GPMJAB included service initiatives to improve patient movement capabilities to meet future challenges, integrating global patient movement information technology to allow end to end visibility of vital patient information, as well as partnering across the interagency to refine our nation’s capacity to receive and care for ill and injured warriors.

USTRANSCOM deputy commander Marine Corps Lt. Gen. John Broadmeadow thanked attendees for performing a “sacred mission” and said they are the world leaders in the mission set of saving lives.

“I’m a little concerned right now, as we’re back into a great power competition, but are still looking at patient movement in the context of the conflicts of the last two decades,” said Broadmeadow. “However, I know this forum will get after it.”

Advisory board members serve as subject matter experts to the DoD, federal, state and coalition entities, recommending GPM policy guidance, processes, equipment standardization and enabling information support systems.

“We’re getting the mission done well today, but we need to be prepared for tomorrow,” said Andrus. “It’s about being ready to support our nation’s warfighters – that’s the driver.”

USTRANSCOM conducts globally integrated mobility operations, leads the broader Joint Deployment and Distribution Enterprise and provides enabling capabilities in order to project and sustain the Joint Force in support of national objectives.