MENTAKAB, MALAYSIA -- Regional Health Command-Pacific (RHC-P) continues to build relationships and strengthen security in the U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM) area of responsibility through global health engagements. RHC-P, in coordination with the 25th Infantry Division, sent a team of medical personnel to Malaysia recently to perform a bilateral military to military subject matter expert exchange (SMEE).

The SMEE team was comprised of a total force effort. Personnel from RHC-P, Bassett Army Community Hospital and a U.S. Army Reserve unit, the 848th Forward Surgical Team, provided lectures as well as hands-on demonstrations with scenario based practical exercises to the Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) in order to assist in the development of forward surgical capabilities. The RHC-P team also assisted the MAF in setting priorities for follow-on activities, training and exchanges assisting in the development and sustainment of advances in MAF medical capabilities to support combat scenarios as well as global peacekeeping and regional humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HA/DR) efforts.

The subject matter experts presented an overview on Army operational medicine and health systems support, forward surgical team (FST) deployment criteria and operational set-up/patient flow, FST dependencies, damage control surgery, anesthesia, shock and infection control, airway management and the role of the medical non-commissioned officer (NCO). The Malaysian team presented lectures on their current field hospital and forward surgical team capabilities.

In the end, this was another successful Pacific region global health engagement. The MAF leadership welcomed the exchange of information and looked forward to future SMEEs.

"This opportunity reinforced that inclusion of high end medical engagements in tactical exercises is an effective way to conduct global health engagements," stated Lt. Col. Scott Baird, chief, RHC-P Reserve Affairs. "The region looks forward to future opportunities to engage with the Malaysian Armed Forces in the global health arena."