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NATO Maritime Medical Conference Kicks Off

VENICE, Italy -- Senior naval and military medical officers from Algeria, Australia, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Netherlands, Norway, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Turkey, and the United States are joining together May 16, 2017, for the kick off of the 20th NATO Maritime Medical Conference hosted here by the Italian Navy.

 The presentations from the opening day offered planning insights for medical officers with historical references of at sea injuries from torpedo and missile attacks to potential future areas of conflict from terrorism to humanitarian response from seismic activity.

"The Mediterranean Sea is an ancient crossroads of trade that’s seen many clashes… as there’s a lack of resources on land, people are interested in the resources of the sea, which puts the region at risk in the near future to a deepening conflict for resources,” said retired Italian Vice Admiral Sanfelice di Monteforte, professor of strategic studies at the University of Trieste."

 The Allied Maritime Command (MARCOM) led-conference features more presentations throughout the week about geographic challenges and joint medical services for maritime medical support, various medical updates and emerging changes in training, health surveillance, diving medicine and telemedicine capabilities.

 "This conference is necessary for increasing interoperability, so our crews know they have the health support they need from NATO,” said Deputy Commander MARCOM Vice Admiral Bruno Paulmier. "The conference provides nations an opportunity to exchange medical expertise and enables MARCOM, in an advocacy role, to listen to the medical staff and provide them the support they need.”

The medical conference occurs in conjunction with the 44th Medical Naval Panel Plenary to discuss naval medicine topics to update NATO doctrine.

Deputy Commander Allied Maritime Command Vice Admiral Bruno Paulmier (left) addresses attendees during the opening ceremony and retired Italian Vice Admiral Sanfelice di Monteforte,  professor of strategic studies at the University of Trieste,  gives a presentation about Mediterranean security to naval and medical officers from 23 nations during the 20th NATO Maritime Medical Conference hosted by the Italian Navy at the Venice Arsenal on May 16,  2017. NATO photo by Lieutenant Lily Daniels USN

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