General Bartels opens the 38th Committee of the Chiefs of Military Medical Services plenary session

  • 21 Nov. 2012 -
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  • Last updated: 23 Nov. 2012 16:23

Brussels – Today, the Committee of the Chiefs of Military Medical Services (COMEDS) convened at NATO HQ for its 38th plenary session in NATO format. The COMEDS were welcomed by General Knud Bartels, Chairman of NATO’s Military Committee, who praised the Committee for its outstanding contribution in developing and coordinating military medical matters, and for providing medical advice to the NATO Military Committee.

Gen. Knud Bartels addressing the COMEDS

B.Gen. Jean-Robert Bernier (left) and Col. Jacques Ricard (centre) received the Dominique-Jean LARREY Award from B.Gen. Rob Van Der Meer (right)

Addressing the military medical community, Gen. Knud Bartels emphasized the key role played by the COMEDS in improving existing arrangements between member countries in the fields of co-ordination, standardization and interoperability. He also highlighted the new security challenges faced by the medical community in providing medical care and psychological support for deployed troops.

After their meetings, the COMEDS presented the Dominique-Jean LARREY Award 2012 to the NATO Role 3 Multinational Medical Unit (R3MMU) for its extraordinary clinical success under austere conditions at the surgical hospital on the Kandahar Airfield. In support of the ISAF combat mission in Afghanistan, the R3MMU rehabilitated injured soldiers from the battlefield through surgical intervention in concert with advanced medical and nursing care. Although NATO countries had built and sustained Multinational Medical Units with success in the Balkans, the R3MMU in Kandahar was NATO’s first to support combat missions. B.Gen. Jean-Robert Bernier and Col. Jacques Ricard received the award on behalf of the Canadian Forces Health Services, which led the R3MMU from April 2006 until October 2009.

B.Gen. Rob Van Der Meer (left) congratulates Lt.Gen. Gérard Nédellec (right), new Chairman of the COMEDS

The autumn 2012 plenary session concluded with the hand-over ceremony of the COMEDS Chairmanship from B.Gen. Rob Van Der Meer (the Netherlands) to Lt.Gen. Gérard Nédellec (France), who will chair the COMEDS for the next three years.

COMEDS is NATO’s senior committee for medical care. It advises the Military Committee on military medical matters affecting NATO.