USEUCOM's Command Surgeon office marks historic milestone in theater-wide Joint Patient Coordination Cell

USEUCOM's Command Surgeon office spearheaded a groundbreaking initiative during USECOM’s command post exercise Austere Challenge 24 held March 4-14, in the form of the theater-wide Joint Patient Coordination Cell (JPECC).


"To meet the modern challenges of near-peer competition, a regional JPECC will be required to give our command maximal opportunities to provide the right level of care to our warfighters as quickly as possible." - Col. Alan "Duck" Chambers
By U.S. European Command Public Affairs United States European Command Stuttgart, Germany May 13, 2024
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U.S. European Command’s Command Surgeon office spearheaded a groundbreaking initiative during USEUCOM’s command post exercise Austere Challenge 24 held March 4-14, in the form of the theater-wide Joint Patient Coordination Cell (JPECC).

The JPECC is composed of patient evacuation specialists who manage all patient evacuation in theater.  During AC24, patient movement requests were injected into the medical common-operating picture (MEDCOP) system for the JPECC to manage and find treatment to match the patient needs.  This concept offers USEUCOM with a newfound regional capability as it provides a comprehensive tracking of all simulated casualties and facilitating their transfer to the most suitable level of care.

While NATO countries and the U.S. military each possess variations of patient tracking systems, none have approached the breadth of the JPECC's scope. During previous operations, such as Enduring and Iraqi Freedom, wounded patients were evacuated from U.S. Central Command through Landstuhl Regional Medical Center to the United States. With the evolving security landscape in Europe, however, particularly amidst Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, Allies and partners within the European theater have come together to streamline a MEDCOP to enhance the patient tracking network.

"Coordinating with multiple commands, services and agencies while sustaining tools and technologies requires careful planning and resource management,” said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Christian Walker, JPECC officer-in-charge, “which is why it's important for us to train together and exercise these concepts.”

In large-scale combat operations, patient evacuation challenges are exponential and can cause bottlenecks if not properly managed, but the JPECC, utilizing MEDCOP, is able to see all theater medical facilities, which may very well be Allied, host national or non-governmental.  The JPECC then creates a mission and authorizes execution, where patient(s) may be routed to a military treatment facility (MTF), where they can receive care. 

Depending on the expected recovery time, wounded service members are stabilized and sent to facilities in the United States. The goal is to speed wounded with life-threatening injuries to the nearest appropriate care and to return Soldiers to duty to rejoin their unit in the fight, a critical benefit to the line commanders.

"Using a medical common operating picture gives us a game-changing 30,000-foot view of the battlefield,” said U.S. Navy Hospital Corpsman First Class (HM1) Jeremiah Romankowski, a patient evacuation specialist representing U.S. Marine Corps forces Europe and Africa. “I can see all patient movement requests coming in and all available treatment options available in theater, which allows us to determine the optimal route for patients."

U.S. Air Force Col. Alan "Duck" Chambers, USEUCOM’s Command Surgeon, says the JPECC is unprecedented and is excited to test its mettle in AC24. "To meet the modern challenges of near-peer competition, a regional JPECC will be required to give our command maximal opportunities to provide the right level of care to our warfighters as quickly as possible. For AC24, we are naming this concept 'JPECC-Europe.' It will allow us to streamline the evacuation process to higher roles of care and facilitate our communications with service components and other combatant commands like USTRANSCOM and its Theater Patient Movement Requirements Center (TPMRC)."  

USEUCOM’s Surgeon General’s office has already begun implementing lessons learned in order to build off of the JPECC success in AC24.

About USEUCOM

U.S. European Command (USEUCOM) is responsible for U.S. military operations across Europe, portions of Asia and the Middle East, the Arctic and Atlantic Ocean. USEUCOM is comprised of more than 65,000 permanent military personnel supported by rotational forces and DoD civilians working closely with NATO Allies and partners. For more information about USEUCOM, visit www.eucom.mil.

 

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