Public Health Symposium Focuses on Theatre-Specific Threats and Operational Readiness

  • Published
  • By Maj. Jenell Brown
  • Office of the Command Surgeon

United States Air Forces Europe- Air Forces Africa recently held the Public Health Readiness Symposium from June 11-13, 2024, at Ramstein Air Base, Germany.

Over 40 public health professionals from all over the world representing the Department of the Air Force, Defense Health Agency Region- Europe, United States Africa Command, U.S. Army Europe & Africa, Armed Forces Health Surveillance Division, and the USAFE Public Health Offices, came together to hone-in on preparedness, readiness, and response.

“This team’s contributions have directly enabled us to inform policy and training requirements across the career field as we continue to strengthen our commitment to better support Department of the Air Force priorities and our warfighting force elements.” said Lt Col Tracy Brannock-Bennett, Air Force Medical Command’s Public Health Branch Chief and Public Health Associate Corps Chief.

Attendees listened to topics focused on current health threats and preventive medicine strategies needed across the USEUCOM and USAFRICOM areas of operations.

These discussions were timely given the establishment of the Air Force Medical Command, and the need for the Public Health career field to be postured to meet DAF requirements in a complex operational environment.

This was the first iteration of USAFE-AFAFRICA hosting this forum with several experts from the Command’s Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance (A2) and Surgeon General Directorates presenting relevant threat analysis and future operational capabilities.  With the theme of “Ready, Resilient and Responsive: Enhancing Public Health Operations Now for the Future Fight”, the symposium provided a great week of knowledge exchange, partnership building, and refocusing of Public Health priorities.

“Seeing this group of leaders engaged in conversations that ran from strategic to tactical about the most pressing, current public health concerns cemented this as the right time to be hosting such a conversation.”, said Col Jay Veeder, HQ USAFE-AFAFRICA Deputy Command Surgeon. “It firmly points our eyes forward, as we advance public health expertise and readiness.”