By Mr. Gino G Mattorano (Regional Health Command Europe)August 2, 2017
Col. Rebecca Porter took command of Public Health Command Europe in a change of command ceremony July 31 at Kirchberg Kaserne, Germany.
Porter comes to PHCE from the National War College, where she graduated with a Master of Science degree in National Security and Strategic Studies.
She replaces Col. Steven Greiner, who leaves PHCE for Falls Church, Va., where he will be the Director of Veterinary Services for the U.S. Army Medical Command's Deputy Chief of Staff for Public Health.
Brig. Gen. Dennis LeMaster, Regional Health Command Europe Commanding General, presided over the ceremony and thanked Greiner for his service and leadership.
"Col. Steve Greiner has been the driving force behind Public Health Command Europe's overwhelming success over the last two years," LeMaster said, "all while undergoing the significant challenge of realigning operations under Regional Health Command Europe, due to the U.S. Army Medical Command reorganization. Steve, you've done that exceptionally well."
LeMaster also praised Greiner's efforts to build and establish relationships with host-nation allies and for PHCE's support to Operation Atlantic Resolve, which helps to ensure peace and stability across the European theater.
Greiner successfully led his team through the implementation of the Army Safety and Health Management System "Star Certification. This recognition is only given to units with a highly effective safety and occupational health system, and have effectively integrated safety practices into their everyday operations.
"Not only has the Army Public Health Region achieved this distinction, but each subordinate unit has also been recognized as a Star site, making PHCE the first and only Army Public Health Command to achieve this distinction in MEDCOM," LeMaster said. "During [Greiner's] tenure as commander, the unit experienced zero work-related safety incidents, while supporting 120 operational public health missions with 190 travelers in 25 countries throughout Eurasia and Africa."
In welcoming Porter and her family to the RHCE team, LeMaster said, "I look forward to working with you as we support the operational requirements of combatant commanders while continuing to meet the healthcare needs of our service members and their families."
In her first opportunity to address her new command, Porter expressed her excitement to be taking command of PHCE.
"In today's Army, one cannot overemphasize the importance of readiness," Porter said. "Our nations and militaries face challenges on several fronts and in multiple domains. Public Health Command Europe is uniquely qualified to contribute to readiness in a significant way. The expertise we provide delivers comprehensive public health, preventive medicine and veterinary services across Eurasia and Africa. It truly is a mission designed to enable readiness and conserve the fighting strength of our forces. I look forward to working with you."
PHCE is an RHCE subordinate command that provides integrated, comprehensive, and global veterinary and preventive medicine support for garrisons, training areas and contingency/combat forces operating in U.S. European Command, U.S. Africa Command, U.S. Central Command and Special Operations Command, while supporting NATO allies and other partner nations.
The command is responsible for food and water safety both in garrison and for a variety of missions in Europe and Africa. It also includes food vulnerability assessments for special events, garrison water safety monitoring and epidemiologic investigations of suspected foodborne illness outbreaks affecting DOD personnel.