COMEDS Presentation

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COMMITTEE OF THE CHIEFS OF MILITARY MEDICAL SERVICES IN NATO

COMITE DES CHEFS DES SERVICES DE SANTE MILITAIRES AU SEIN DE L'OTAN

 By providing a common language between the military medical services, COMEDS allows a multinational medical support in operations.

 

Overview

Founded in 1994, the Committee of the Chiefs of Military Medical Services in NATO is the Alliance’s most senior military medical body on military medical matters. The committee reports to the Military Committee. As of today all 28 NATO countries are members of COMEDS. In addition nations that are members of the Partnerships for Peace, the Mediterranean dialogue, the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative and Partners across the Globe are observers.

Full members:

  • Chiefs of the military medical services of NATO nations,
  • IMS representative,  
  • Medical advisors of the international military staff and the strategic commands.

Observers: 

  • Chiefs of the military medical services of partners nations,
  • Representatives of the NATO Standardization Agency, the Joint Health Agriculture Food Group, the European Union Military Staff, the Centre of Excellence for Military Medicine, the Human Factors Panel of the Science & Technology Organization and the Confédération Interalliée des Officiers Médicaux de Réserve.

Mission

  • To advise the MC on military medical matters affecting NATO.
  • To act as the coordinating body for the military committee regarding all military medical policies, doctrines, concepts, procedures, programs, strategic aspects of operational military medical support, military medical interoperability and cooperation in medical related matters.
  • To take part in the Defence Planning Process on military medical issues.

Objectives

  • To develop NATO military medical concepts, policies and doctrine by promoting a capability-based approach to support NATO operations.  
  • To contribute to sustainability of NATO forces by providing adequate military medical support structures and procedures. 
  • To enhance deployability of NATO expeditionary forces by fostering preparation on a multinational agreed basis (i.e.: formation of Multinational Medical Units) and attain full medical interoperability amongst member nations and partner nations.  
  • To meet NATO military medical information management and technology requirements.  
  • To enhance cooperation with all relevant military and civilian organizations to create synergies in employing medical resources (i.e.: Humanitarian assistance missions).

The Chairman

Elected by the NATO chiefs of military medical services, for a three-year term, the chairman:  

  • Represents their consensus-based views as the principal medical adviser to the Military Committee, the North Atlantic Council and other senior NATO organizations. 
  • Guides the COMEDS agenda and deliberations, listening to views and working to reconcile divergent national positions or policy differences to fashion advice that all can agree to.

As the Alliance’s top medical officer and most senior military medical spokesperson, the chairman COMEDS, regularly visits operations and allied and partner countries to explain NATO military medical work, and to maximize NATO military medical capabilities and efficiencies. He is assisted in the NATO HQ by a COMEDS liaison officer.

Organization

COMEDS comprises 21 groups distributed in three levels: management, working groups and experts panels.

COMEDS Plenary is the highest coordinating authority on military medical matters, gathering of NATO military leaders of medical services, partner nations and representatives of strategic commands.

COMEDS Steering Group coordinates the work of all substructures across the spectrum of military medical matters. This group meets twice a year under the leadership of the COMEDS Liaison Officer.

Military Committee Medical Standardization Board fosters military medical organization aiming at achieving global interoperability of the Alliance. The board decides on military medical standardization proposals, doctrinal publications to enter ratification process and promulgation of new doctrine. The board is co-chaired by the COMEDS LO and the chair of the NATO Standardization Agency Joint standardization board. All the work is prepared by the Medical Standardisation working group.

Focus of COMEDS

  • ISAF redeployment and post 2014  
  • Capability building
    • NATO Defence Planning o Recruitment & retention of medical personnel
    • Smart Defence – Modular approach o Contracted Operational Medical Support o Training  
  • Partnership
    • Cooperation UN/EU/Partners

Presidency 2012-2015 

  • Chairman (C-COMEDS) LTG G. Nédellec, MD, PhD , FRA.
  • Liaison officer (COMEDS LO) COL. E. Halbert, MD, FRA.

Presidency 2015-2018

  • Chairman MG Jean-Robert Bernier (CAN)
  • Liaison Officer COL Gerald J.M. Rots (NLD)

Contact

For further information please contact the COMEDS Liaison Officer at:

rots.gerald@hq.nato.int

Or have a look on Internet at:

http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/topics_49168.htm

Partners

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