By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jacob I. Allison
YOKOSUKA, Japan – Senior medical officers from the international military community toured the U.S. Navy’s forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) Jan. 16 as part of the U.S. 7th Fleet Medical Symposium, intended to foster discussion of military health care.
The two-day symposium, hosted at Fleet Activities Yokosuka, kicked off with more than 100 medical officers from 13 regional partners and allies. The 2014 symposium focused on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.
“[The symposium brought] together a group to talk about issues that affect our navies, as well as the main themes of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief,” said Capt. Russell Hays, George Washington’s senior medical officer. “Our recent experience with Typhoon Haiyan and Operation Damayan were very helpful for this conference.”
The visiting military doctors and medical officials toured the ship’s medical spaces in order to gain a better understanding of how the U.S. Navy provides medical care at sea. They also toured the ship’s flight deck and bridge as part of a general ship tour.
“Over these two days I have learned quite a lot,” said Malaysia Armed Forces. Brig. Gen. Dr. Zul Hafley, head of the Institute of Underwater and Hyperbaric Medicine. “There are a lot of calamities [in the Pacific Rim] such as earthquakes and tsunamis. When this happens, other countries come to help and the medical forces of those countries are deployed first.”
George Washington and its embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, provide a combat-ready force that protects and defends the collective maritime interest of the U.S. and its allies and partners in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.