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Air Force medical leadership discuss the future of AFMEDCOM in readiness tabletop exercise

  • Published
  • By Maristela Romero
  • Air Force Surgeon General Public Affairs

Air Force medical leaders hosted a tabletop exercise to identify command authorities and design an efficient chain of communication within the Air Force Medical Command, or AFMEDCOM, to support the status of readiness for medical Airmen and the tasking process to deploy them.

The tabletop exercise held June 10, 2024, at the Defense Health Headquarters, Falls Church, Virginia, provided an open forum for leaders to develop a unified understanding of the roles and responsibilities of combatant commands and Air Force medical mission assignment processes.

“We are creating something brand new, and this is exactly where the effort needs to be,” said Lt. Gen. Robert Miller, U.S. Air Force Surgeon General, while addressing the participants.

Throughout the exercise, senior leaders collaborated on potential scenarios as they walked through crisis action and deliberate planning steps necessary to task medical Airmen for planned deployments and short-notice, emerging requirements. Col. Michael Fea, Department of the Air Force’s Medical Operations deputy director, emphasized the significance of the tabletop exercise in mapping out readiness reporting.

“We need to identify the right functions for the right locations. One of the measures to discuss is who do we talk to and when do we talk to them? The other is communicating with our senior line leaders,” Fea said. “This is a continuation of that dialogue. What can AFMEDCOM do to improve how we support the warfighter?”

If conditions are met, AFMEDCOM is projected to reach initial operational capability by Nov. 1, 2024. AFMS senior leadership is refining the process for executing a medically ready force and generating mission-capable medical support requirements to operate effectively in a complex, contested environment.

Editor’s note: The tabletop exercise, held on June 10, 2024, occurred prior to the Lt. Gen. Robert Miller’s retirement on June 14, 2024. All titles reflect what was current at the time of the exercise.