Navy Surgeon General Tours Naval Medical Facilities in the Western Pacific

Story Number: NNS100525-04Release Date: 5/25/2010 3:04:00 PM
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From Bureau of Medicine and Surgery Public Affairs

CHATAN, Okinawa (NNS) -- The senior-most medical corps officer in the United States Navy visited U.S. Naval Hospital Okinawa May 25 during his tour of Navy medical facilities in the Western Pacific.

Surgeon General of the United States Navy Vice Adm. Adam M. Robinson, Jr., met with command leadership and spoke with the staff at an all hands call in base chapel.

"Force health protection is Navy Medicine's top priority," Robinson said. "What you do here in Okinawa is key to maintaining readiness for our deployed men and women and their families here in the Pacific. We must remember that Navy Medicine is all about taking care of people. If we lose focus on that, we will not be successful."

Naval Hospital Okinawa has been providing health care for U.S. service members and their families stationed in Japan since 1958. The hospital, the largest overseas naval medical treatment facility in the Western Pacific, is jointly staffed by Navy, Army, Air Force and Marine Corps personnel. The hospital serves a beneficiary population of 55,000 active duty personnel, their family members, civilian employees and others, as well as providing referral services for almost 175,000 beneficiaries throughout the region.

Robinson discussed several issues during his all-hands call, including the new Naval Operations Concept 2010 (NOC 10), a tri-service document developed by the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard which guides implementation of the Maritime Strategy. The NOC 10 is organized around and expounds upon the six core capabilities identified in the strategy which include forward presence, sea control, power projection, deterrence, maritime security, and humanitarian assistance/disaster response.

"Our operational and humanitarian commitments have not changed," said Robinson. "The capability of the Navy in supporting the core capabilities of the Maritime Strategy in an asymmetric world is essential to maintaining stability worldwide."

Sailors based in Okinawa appreciated hearing from the Surgeon General during his visit to the hospital.

"A lot of Sailors don't really get to see people at the top," said Airman Anthony Miller of the Operating Management department. "It's great to see the guy who is calling the shots so you know where the information is coming from."

Other participants appreciated having the opportunity to ask Robinson his thoughts on current Navy issues and the direction of Navy Medicine today.

"It's good to see the big picture and to know that Navy leadership cares about what we think," said Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Alois Kaltenbach, leading petty officer for nursing services.

Robinson also met with Navy and Marine Corps leadership in Okinawa and toured the facilities on board Camp Lester and the new hospital under construction at Camp Foster during his visit.

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