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International Health Specialist Program

International Health Specialist emblem

Vision: To be the leaders in USAF global health engagements

Mission: To provide global health expertise in support of national security cooperation objectives

The International Health Specialist Program, established in 2000 by former U.S. Air Force Surgeon General Lt. Gen. Paul K Carlton, Jr., USAF retired, extends operational reach of the Joint Forces. This cadre of health professionals bring diversified international skills and knowledge of military and civilian health disciplines to full time advisor roles within Combatant Commands, Major Commands and Air Force Component Commands in support of Global Health Engagement strategies. There are more than 300 IHS Special Experience Identifier Airmen at military treatment facilities around the globe, ready to respond to global health engagement assignments and humanitarian assistance and disaster response.

Specifically, International Health Specialists:

  • Plan, lead and execute health-related regional security cooperation activities.
  • Assist in U.S. military support to interagency and U.S. government humanitarian assistance and disaster response, as well as health infrastructure development.
  • Increase interoperability between the U.S. and partner nations.
  • Bring their individual medical expertise along with proficiency in a partner-nation language and in-depth understanding of military, economic, cultural and health aspects in their assigned region.