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Navy Medicine marks milestone aboard Egyptian naval ship for Global Health Engagement

19 October 2023

From Bobbie A. Camp, Naval Medical Forces Atlantic

Navy Medicine marked a milestone during a global health engagement (GHE) with Egyptian Naval Forces to achieve interoperability and increase patient survivability in a shipboard setting within U.S. Central Command area of operations in support of exercise Bright Star 2023, Sept. 9-13.
Medical Sailors from the U.S. Navy and the Egyptian Navy pose for a group photo aboard Egyption Naval Ship (ENS) Anwar El-Sadat during exercise Bright Star 23 at Ras Al Tin Naval Forces Base, Egypt, Sept. 10.
230910-N-NO146-7953 ALEXANDRIA, Egypt (Sept. 10, 2023) Medical Sailors from the U.S. Navy and the Egyptian Navy pose for a group photo aboard Egyption Naval Ship (ENS) Anwar El-Sadat during exercise Bright Star 23 at Ras Al Tin Naval Forces Base, Egypt, Sept. 10. Bright Star 23 is a multilateral U.S. Central Command exercise held with the Arab Republic of Egypt across air, land, and sea domains that promotes and enhances regional security and cooperation and improves interoperability in irregular warfare against hybrid threat scenarios. (U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Freddie Mawanay)
Medical Sailors from the U.S. Navy and the Egyptian Navy pose for a group photo aboard Egyption Naval Ship (ENS) Anwar El-Sadat during exercise Bright Star 23 at Ras Al Tin Naval Forces Base, Egypt, Sept. 10.
230910-N-NO146-7953
230910-N-NO146-7953 ALEXANDRIA, Egypt (Sept. 10, 2023) Medical Sailors from the U.S. Navy and the Egyptian Navy pose for a group photo aboard Egyption Naval Ship (ENS) Anwar El-Sadat during exercise Bright Star 23 at Ras Al Tin Naval Forces Base, Egypt, Sept. 10. Bright Star 23 is a multilateral U.S. Central Command exercise held with the Arab Republic of Egypt across air, land, and sea domains that promotes and enhances regional security and cooperation and improves interoperability in irregular warfare against hybrid threat scenarios. (U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Freddie Mawanay)
Photo By: Lt. Freddie Mawanay
VIRIN: 230910-N-NO146-7953


The four personnel from U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) and U.S. Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Unit (USNMRTU) Bahrain provided tactical combat casualty care, shipboard medical programs review and a mass casualty exercise aboard the state-of-the-art French Mistral-class ship, the Egyptian Naval Ship (ENS) Anwar El-Sadat at Ras Al Tin Naval Forces Base.

“This is the first time the Egyptian Naval Forces have granted access to the U.S. Navy, specifically U.S. Navy medical professionals, to their ship,” explained Lt. Freddie Mawanay, the GHE officer at NAVCENT. “It was a pleasure executing GHE serials, and working with the professional medical doctors and nurses was commendable.”

The team operated inside the ship’s hospital medical facility and alongside their Egyptian counterparts to understand their procedures and resources and offered collaboration support during drills.



“I learned about their current operations for mass casualty drills and care for those wounded in combat,” said Lt.j.g. Anna Walker, a native of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and a staff nurse with USNMTRU Bahrain. “We had thorough discussions and brainstormed ideas to enhance their shipboard casualty plan.”

While the team had some minor challenges with regards to language and cultural barriers, they began to communicate much easier over time. By strengthening their professional relationship with Egypt, they created lifelong memories with an unforgettable experience.

“The most memorable thing about the GHE was the eagerness to learn from both our team and the foreign militaries,” reflected Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Joseph Wanda, a native of Plano, Illinois, and a command pay and personnel administrator at USNMTRU Bahrain. “We also had personnel from departments that had little-to-no medical knowledge wanting to attend and learn skills.”

The experience during the exercise opened more opportunities for the U.S. and Egyptian medical teams to collaborate and plan for future emergency and trauma management events and programs.

“Our partner has expressed further interest in GHEs to build upon these initial efforts to enhance their proficiencies,” concluded Mawanay. “We hope to have an exchange aboard a U.S. vessel to provide an availability for the Egyptian team to also observe and understand our shipboard medical capabilities.”

Exercise Bright Star is the oldest multilateral military exercise in the Middle East and Africa first occurring in 1980. Bright Star 2023 was jointly led by the Egyptian Armed Forces and those from the U.S. Central Command and is designed to enhance interoperability among the 34 participating nations and support their ability to confront security and military challenges at regional and international levels.

USNMRTU Bahrain, a unit of U.S. Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command (USNMRTC) Sigonella, provides support to 5,000 enrolled beneficiaries and 15,000 transient forces. USNMRTC Sigonella and its units in Bahrain and Souda Bay provide high-performing, fully mission-ready medical and dental care in three geographically dispersed populations of personnel assigned to U.S. Naval Air Station (NAS) Sigonella, U.S. Naval Support Activity (NSA) Bahrain, NSA Souda Bay, headquarters staff of CENTCOM, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) as well as ships transiting the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of responsibility.

Naval Medical Forces Atlantic, headquartered in Portsmouth, Virginia, delivers operationally focused medical expertise and capabilities to meet Fleet, Marine and Joint Force requirements by providing equipment, sustainment and maintenance of medical forces during combat operations and public health crises. NMFL provides oversight for 21 NMRTCs, logistics, and public health and dental services throughout the U.S. East Coast, U.S. Gulf Coast, Cuba, Europe, and the Middle East.

Navy Medicine – represented by more than 44,000 highly-trained military and civilian health care professionals – provides enduring expeditionary medical support to the warfighter on, below, and above the sea, and ashore.
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