Our soldiers work in alliance. They operate together with their comrades from different nations in NATO’s missions. They fight and might get wounded. Then the first dressing might be applied by a soldier from another nation. Just as our fighting troops, military medical professionals work together in the field and at home. They provide the highest quality of care within and between multinational medical units. This is where the NATO Centre of Excellence for Military Medicine (MILMED COE) comes into play. Nations come from different backgrounds and with different traditions and procedures. We assist standardization, design courses and trainings for medical professionals and also, we support health surveillance and identify best practices and lessons. We provide tools that enable allies to achieve the high expectations towards military medicine in multinational theaters.
The global threat of terrorism, the spread of weapons of mass destruction and regional armed conflicts represent the main source of tension and security challenges in today's world. This changing international security environment has accelerated NATO's need for adaptation to the new global security threats. The transformation process is being implemented through improving existing and developing new capabilities in specific areas, such as for instance defence against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) attacks or improving interoperability of deployed forces. These efforts are undertaken via increased multinational cooperation. In the aftermath of 9/11 and the 2002 NATO Prague Summit, the Alliance has brought small, subject-specific, multinational and thus effective organisations, the so called Centres of Excellence (COEs), into existence to assist in its transformational process.
Centres of Excellence (COEs) are considered to be international military organizations that work alongside Allied Command Transformation (ACT) in Norfolk, Virginia, in the United States. Although not being part of the NATO command structure, they are part of a wider educational and training framework closely linked to NATO activities. Designed to complement the Alliance's current resources, COEs cover a wide variety of areas, with each one focusing on a specific field of expertise. They support standardization and concept development as well as to train and educate leaders and specialists from NATO member and partner countries.
The Alliance does not fund COEs. Instead, they receive national or multinational support by "Sponsoring Nations" and – related to specific projects - by "Contributing Nations" financing the operating cost of the institutions. 21 COEs have either received NATO accreditation, are in the process of receiving accreditation or are in the development stages (status on 23/08/2012). The working language of COEs is English.
MILMED COE Vision and Mission
NATO's strategic goal in the field of military medicine is to provide sustainable military medical support including Force Health protection measures, role 1 to 4 treatment capabilities and medical evacuation to NATO operations worldwide. As stated in the MC 326-3 "every effort should be made to ensure that medical care is based on internationally accepted best medical practice." In this context the outcome after the casualty's rehabilitation, i.e. the quality of life and health, will always be benchmarked not only within the military medical community but also against civilian health care standards. In order to meet these high expectations towards military medicine MILMED COE facilitates capacity and capability building through interoperability by multinational standardisation pre-, during- and post-deployment and provides senior matter expertise in the following areas:
- Medical Lessons Learned focusing on tactical aspects
- Deployment Health Surveillance
- Interoperability and Standardization
- Medical Training, Certification and Validation
For further information see the detailed description of the branches' activities.
Watch the ">MILMED COE video
Courses & Trainings
- Deployment Health Surveillance Course – Level 1
- Military Medical Support in Humanitarian Arena (MMSHA) Course
- Emergency Management of Battlefield Injuries (EMBI) Course (COE-MED-M4-001)
- Major Incident Medical Management and Support (MIMMS) Course (COE-MED-M4-002)
- NATO Medical Evaluation (MEDEVAL) Course (COE-MED-M4-003)
- NATO First Responder Trainer (FRT) Training (COE-MED-M4-005)
- NATO Emergency Medical Pre-Deployment Team (EMPT) Training (COE-MED-M4-006)
- NATO Patient Evacuation Coordination Cell (PECC) Course (COE-MED-M4-008)