Budapest, Hungary -- More than 150 military and civilian medical experts from 15 allied and partner countries, including senior Hungarian military medical officials, gathered in Budapest, Hungary Sept. 26 - 28 for the 30th Annual Multinational Military Medical Engagement (MMME).
Jointly hosted by U.S. Army Medical Readiness Command, Europe, and the Hungarian Defense Forces, the theme for this year's military medical engagement was, “Culture and Change: Evolution of Civilian-Military Partnerships.” The widely attended event focused on enhancing military medicine interoperability and building partnerships through civil-military relations. The three-day event consisted of a series of panel discussions, presentations, lessons learned and sharing of medical best practices.
According to event organizers, this year’s military medical engagement was a resounding success, and they were delighted by the number of partner nations taking part.
“We are extremely pleased with the overall outcome of this year’s military medical engagement as was demonstrated by the attendance and active participation of our allies and partners,” said Dr. John Casey, director of plans and exercises for Medical Readiness Command, Europe. “Our goal this year was to strengthen international partnerships through collaboration and global health engagement to enhance military medicine interoperability and familiarization and aid/support partner integration with NATO. And, I believe that we accomplished that goal.”
Of the more than 150 participants taking part, some came from as far away as Australia and Japan.
"This was our opportunity to share lessons learned, not only between our partners and allies in Europe, but also partners from around the world," said Brig. Gen. Clinton Murray, commander of Medical Readiness Command, Europe. ”And it was an opportunity for us to take medical lessons learned from Ukraine, Iraq and Afghanistan and really share those with each other so we can improve care, not only on the battlefield, but care during peacetime as well.”
Murray, who is also the U.S. Army Europe and Africa command surgeon, added, “I think the most important part of this engagement was the personal interaction and communication that participants had with each other. These are individuals you don’t get to see or talk to all the time, and their problem sets and issues are incredibly like ours. So, we had the opportunity to sit down with each other and really highlight those important issues. We learned what is unique from one country to another and were able to better understand how they take care of their injured patients. If you understand that, and bring it all together, it will only help to improve casualty care on the battlefield.”
The three-day military medical engagement consisted primarily of panel discussions on a variety of medical topics including, but not limited to, patient evacuation, force health protection, behavioral health practices and emerging threats of infectious disease in the operational environment.
“The concept of culture and change, and the advancement, or evolution, of military-civilian partnerships, really highlights the things we need to do regarding patient and casualty care in Europe,” added Murray. “For example, we understand that if the situation were ever to turn into large scale combat operations, and the civilian medical institutions and hospitals are not available and linked together with the military, we could potentially be less successful. It truly must be a team effort.”
Planning for the 31st Annual MMME event is already underway and is tentatively scheduled to be held in September 2024 in Poland.