By Michelle Thum, PHCE PAOOctober 10, 2018
Public Health Command Europe Commander, Col. Rebecca Porter, and Public Health Activity-Italy Commander, Lt. Col. Sarah Goldman, visited their Spanish Public Health counterparts in Spain on Sept. 14 to strengthen bonds and provide continued support.
Porter said that working closely with the Spanish public health leaders builds familiarity between systems and Allies, and increases readiness on both sides.
The key objective of the collaborations between the countries was to foster relationships and continue to build interoperability.
Porter and Goldman's visit included meeting the Chief of the Spanish Veterinary Corps, General Carlos Agudo Mayorga, and visiting the Spanish Armed Forces Military Veterinary Center, which is a support unit for operations.
Additionally, the two met the General Medical Inspector of Health Inspection of the Spanish Ministry of Defense and toured the Spanish entomology laboratory facilities.
"Collaborating with our Spanish counterparts provides a chance to share knowledge and strengthens our regional partnerships," Porter said. "This directly increases operational capability in the region and enhances global security."
She went on to say that the two organizations are proud to work together on food audits and inspections as well as military working dog demos and first aid training, which they conduct on a regular basis.
Each year, veterinary staff from both militaries, train together to familiarize themselves with the different equipment each uses as well as to practice different training methods.
PHCE's engagement with the Spanish Military Public Health Leadership results in building tight relationships, greater interoperability and a Strong Europe, Porter said.
In addition to the partnership with the Spanish military, PHCE is also developing partnerships with Portuguese and French counterparts.