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Naval Attachés Learn About Naval Health Research Center’s Relentless Pursuit of Readiness
Released: 10/23/2017

From Naval Health Research Center Public Affairs
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Naval Health Research Center (NHRC) hosts 14 foreign naval attachés and their five U.S. escorts during a visit sponsored by the U.S. Navy Foreign Liaison Office, part of the Chief of Naval Operations office at the Pentagon. The goal of the program is to expose foreign officers to the U.S. Navy’s diversity, facilities, capabilities, personnel, and culture. The attachés were able to meet with NHRC leadership and scientists and learn how the command uses sciences to improve the health and readiness of U.S. service members. (U.S. Navy photo by Regena Kowitz/Released)


SAN DIEGO – Staff from the Naval Health Research Center (NHRC) hosted 14 visiting foreign military officers and their five U.S. escorts, Oct. 23.

The tour was sponsored by the U.S. Navy Foreign Liaison Office, part of the Chief of Naval Operations office at the Pentagon. The goal of the program is to expose foreign officers to the U.S. Navy’s diversity, facilities, capabilities, personnel, and culture.

“Our office is the touchpoint for all foreign naval attachés to the U.S.,” said Capt. James Biggs, director of the Navy Foreign Liaison Office and one of the escorts. “Tours like this help build more positive relationships with these countries. We want them to understand how a country and military of our size does business. This helps them better understand areas for improvement and shows them areas where we can work together in the future.”

During the tour, the naval attachés visited NHRC’s infectious diseases and warfighter performance laboratories where researchers provided an overview of how science improves the health and readiness of U.S. warfighters.

“It was an honor to host the naval attachés and highlight our research capabilities and our scientists,” said Capt. Marshall Monteville, NHRC’s commanding officer. “We take pride in conducting cutting-edge research that’s operationally relevant and has a positive impact on the warfighter. We also have an incredible team of diverse researchers who are dedicated to our mission of optimizing warfighter readiness.”

NHRC’s research focuses on three core areas—operational readiness and health, military population health, and operational infectious diseases. Whether scientists are addressing human performance factors to reduce injuries and increase resilience, maintaining the health and well-being of service members and their families, or protecting warfighters from dangerous diseases, NHRC’s goal is to keep warfighters healthy and mission ready.

The attachés toured the Operational Infectious Diseases Laboratory spaces where they learned about NHRC’s basic and applied biomedical research, including surveillance activities for respiratory and enteric diseases that pose threats to the health and safety of U.S. warfighters and their families.

From influenza and adenovirus to norovirus, Zika virus, and other pathogens researchers explained to the attachés how NHRC is continually testing specimen samples for the presence of contagious diseases to identify them and prevent outbreaks.

The tour also included a stop at the Warfighter Performance Laboratory, a high-tech, multi-disciplinary space that houses several state-of-the-science research tools, including:

• The Computer Assisted Rehabilitation Environment (CAREN), an immersive virtual reality system
• A sleep and fatigue lab
• An environmental chamber, a large structure that can simulate environments with temperatures ranging from -23°F to 130°F

Researchers explained that having each of these different research capabilities under one roof encourages collaboration and enables a range of studies for challenges faced by modern warfighters, such as fatigue, heat stress, and musculoskeletal injury prevention.

“I think the naval attachés were amazed by the complexity, the technicality, and the diversity of the work that goes on here,” said Biggs. “They got a real appreciation for the depth that we’ll go to improve our warfighters. They learned about our relentless pursuit of making each individual Sailor, Marine, Soldier, and Airman better, more resilient, more capable, and more durable over the long-term”

As the DoD’s premier deployment health research center, NHRC’s cutting-edge research and development is used to optimize the operational health and readiness of the nation’s armed forces. In proximity to more than 95,000 active duty service members, world-class universities, and industry partners, NHRC sets the standard in joint ventures, innovation, and translational research.
Naval Medical Research and Development