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Feature Stories

NEWS | Oct. 22, 2020

3rd Medical Command and the Jordanian Royal Medical Services exchange lessons on COVID-19

By Story by Capt. Ernest Wang Area Support Group - Jordan

U.S. Army Soldiers from the 3rd Medical Command (Deployment Support) conducted a subject matter expert exchange with the Jordanian Royal Medical Services at the Queen Rania Al Abdullah Hospital For Children earlier this month.

The four-day event facilitated discussions on interoperabilities, with special focus on COVID-19 response and requirements.

"It's a new experience for every country," said Maj. Alaa Eddeen, a medical logistician with the RMS. "We need to share our experiences so we learn from each other and make the best preparations for the future."

The 3rd MCDS is the theater-enabling command for medical support. Representing the command were Chief of Staff Col. Stephanie Wolloff, Sgt. Maj. Thomas Quinn, and Capt. Jason Woodruff, who are in Jordan to assist Area Support Group-Jordan with medical coordination.

"A critical piece at our level is to identify trends we may see in other areas, whether it be in the U.S. or another country so that we may recommend and push resources before something happens to affect our troops," said Quinn.

The RMS-engagement was essential for their leaders to learn from the successful COVID-19 response Jordan has coordinated since the beginning of the pandemic.

Flexibility is key, according to Wolloff. "COVID-19 has shown the importance of providing as much capabilities as you can to your general medic," she said. Response to critical situations improves when certain skills, such as basic infection control, is common among all medical personnel and standardized between branches.

For Eddeen, the effects of the pandemic on the world's medical supply chain is historic. "We need to analyze and document what we have done, what went wrong, and what we need to do in the future."

The U.S. and Jordanian militaries have worked together in numerous training exercises. Unlike, training events, there is no known end date with COVID-19.

"There's a big difference between theoretical matters, and real world events," said Eddeen. "It's the difference between a driving exam and being on the road. No one can tell us when this will end. So we have to be ready."

The U.S. military is in Jordan to partner with the Jordan Armed Forces to meet common security objectives in the region. Jordan is one of the U.S.’s closest allies in the world.