A Terms of Reference (TOR) agreement was signed at the conclusion of US Air Force Lieutenant General (Dr.) Thomas W. Travis’ week-long visit in Israel, during which he was exposed to the diverse and professional activities of the Medical Corps and the Israel Air Force. The agreement lays the foundation for deep and ongoing cooperation in areas of aviation medicine, mental health, academics and research.
At a briefing on Thursday, IDF Chief Medical Officer Brig. Gen. (Prof.) Yitshak Kreiss spoke about his personal experience in working with US forces. “We share knowledge and experience in terms of humanitarian missions and disaster management. I commanded the IDF’s Haiti field hospital in 2010. When the US Navy ship deployed there, they became a major asset in the area,” he said. “We evacuated patients to the US ship.” That is just one example, Brig. Gen. Kreiss said. “We have worked together, side by side, in humanitarian missions across the world.”
The two sides bring their own unique advantages to the table in the agreement. “Americans have the advantage of size and scale,” said Brig. Gen. Kreiss. “They do the most heavy scientific work in trying to prove that a technology is evidence-based and cost-effective, and can be implemented on the battlefield. The Israeli advantage is that we are a relatively small medical corps, which is deployed 24/7 at hundreds of points, with a paramedic deployed in each battalion. So if you want to test something, or to deploy or test a technology at the Point of Care, we do it relatively simply. While the US forces are often first to develop new technologies, what we can give back is deployment of those technologies quickly at the Point of Care. The Americans then learn from and use the knowledge that we have gained.”
“In my 25 years of experience in the IDF Medical Corps, the collaboration between us and the US military is the deepest it has ever been before,” Brig. Gen. Kreiss said. “Our collaboration is based on true partnership, friendship, and most importantly, on shared values.”
This article has been reprinted with the permission of the IDF Blog.