By Staff Sgt. Manuel Quiros
| 311th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) | July 31, 2020
CAMP ARIFJAN, KUWAIT – Key leaders, (L to R) Kuwaiti Col. Dr. Raed Altajalli, liaison officer to Kuwait Ministry of Defense (KMOD), Col Simon Hamid, 1st Theater Sustainment Command, command surgeon, Command Sgt. Maj. George Luedtke, 311th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), and Brig. Gen. Dianne Del Rosso, deputy commanding general, 1st TSC, 311th ESC, come together for a meeting on interoperability in medical cooperation between the U.S. and Kuwait at the Black Jack Conference Room in the Operational Command Post on July 20. (U.S. Army Reserve photo by Staff Sgt. Manuel Quiros July 20, 2020) (Photo by Staff Sgt. Manuel Quiros)
Leaders from the 1st Theater Sustainment Command, 311th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), 3rd Medical Command Forward and Kuwaiti Col. Dr. Raed Altajalli, liaison officer to Kuwait Ministry of Defense (KMOD) met to discuss future partnership opportunities at the Operational Command Post on July 20, 2020.
Col. Dr. Raed Altajalli has worked with dozens of American military units over the years and continues to be a key player in the communication between doctors in the U.S. Military Hospital-Kuwait (USMH-K) and the Armed Forces Hospital Kuwait.
”Col. Altajalli is considered a military liaison to the US Military. He has been instrumental in assisting the U.S. logistically acquiring medical equipment as well as intensive care beds,” said U.S. Army Col. Darrin B Dailey, Kuwaiti Ministry of Defense Liaison/Advisor for the 3rd Medical Command-Forward. “His relationship with the U.S. has been extremely important and vital during COVID.”
During the meeting, Dr. Altajalli discussed possibilities of lodging for American staff and service members near Kuwaiti hospitals to allow U.S. medical professionals the ability to work alongside their Kuwaiti counterparts.
“Working together is very important, better care for the American service member,” Dr. Altajalli said. “My plan moving forward … why can’t we have a [Kuwait and American] medical center – physical, hands-on.”
The 1st Theater Sustainment Command-Operational Command Post works closely with the 3rd Medical Command-Forward and the medical professionals at the USMH-K. In addressing COVID response efforts, medical professionals from across the region play an increasingly vital role in support of their commands and ensuring the health of the force is ready to fight.
Col. Simon Hamid, command surgeon, 1st Theater Sustainment Command, emphasized his desire to “develop interoperability to allow seamless care as well as learn techniques and procedure used by our Kuwaiti partners”.
In the coming years he would like to see US personnel licensed and working in Kuwaiti Ministry of Defense facilities and to develop a common set of credentials, training and equipment.
“In the time of COVID we are looking to develop training across various platforms. Trying to maintain key relationships will be harder without the richness of human interactions, but we need to continue dialogue using the resources we have”, added Hamid.
Brig. Gen. Dianne Del Rosso, deputy commanding general, 1st Theater Sustainment Command, stressed the need to press on and forge the bond despite the challenges of exercising social distance for the control and prevention of COVID-19.
"We must continue interoperability and its partnership given COVID-19 and see our two countries moving forward over various means of virtual communication” Del Rosso said.
The United States and Kuwait are working collectively towards the common goal of a stable, secure, and prosperous Middle East. Kuwait is a vital U.S. partner on a wide range of regional security issues and a leader in the Global Coalition to defeat ISIS. The United States works with Kuwait and other members of the Gulf Cooperation Council to increase cooperation on border security, maritime security, arms transfers, cybersecurity, and counterterrorism.