LANDSTUHL, Germany – More than 100 military veterinarians from 17 countries participated in a four-day multinational online conference from May 3-6 for the 66th International Symposium on Military Veterinary Medicine, hosted by Public Health Command Europe.
Each year, the symposium brings together military veterinarians to exchange knowledge, discuss best practices, establish interoperability and foster relationships. This year, the countries represented included the United States, France, Serbia, South Korea, United Kingdom, Czech Republic, Italy, Spain, Norway, Brazil, Netherlands , Portugal, Poland, Sweden, Slovenia, Germany and Denmark, and the participants represented the Army, Navy and Air Force.
The theme of this year’s symposium was “Protecting the Health of Forces: A Critical Foundation for Combat Readiness” and focused on food protection, veterinary medicine and public health to improve the health of military communities. .
âIt is important to maintain a close bond with our international partners, so that we all have a common understanding and learn from each other for both food preparation and food protection,â said Col. Brian Spangler, commander of the PHCE.
The presentations aimed to exchange knowledge, foster relationships and discover the capabilities and challenges of veterinary forces around the world. Veterinarians not only provide care to military working dogs, which is essential to the execution of the mission, but they also ensure healthy and safe food sources for service members and their families through health inspections of military facilities and commercial food audits.
According to Colonel Thomas Kohler, senior veterinarian and deputy commander of PHCE, the multinational symposium provided an opportunity for soldiers assigned to PHCE to train with their counterparts in the host nation.
âIt has been great to work closely with vets from other countries,â Kohler said. “PHCE maintains a close working relationship with its counterparts in the host country and trains frequently with the German Bundeswehr and Italy, among others.”
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