NATO Special Operations Forces Medical Engagements and Partnering Course: Initial Curriculum Recommendations from the NSHQ SOFMEP Committee

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Alderman SM, Arvidsson CJ, Boedecker BH, Durck CH, Ferguson JL, Harreld CE, House JH, Irizarry DJ, Oshiki MS, Sanchack KE, Torres JE 12(2). 27 - 32 (Journal Article)

Military partnering operations and military engagements with host nation civil infrastructure are fundamental missions for NATO Special Operations Forces (SOF) conducting military assistance operations. Unit medical advisors are frequently called upon to support partnering operations and execute medical engagements with host nation health systems. As a primary point of NATO SOF medical capability development and coordination, the NATO Special Operations Headquarters (NSHQ) sought to create a practical training opportunity in which medical advisors are taught how to prepare for, plan, and execute these complex military assistance operations. An international committee of SOF medical advisors, planners and teachers was assembled to research and develop the curriculum for the first NSHQ SOF Medical Engagement and Partnering (SOFMEP) course. The committee found no other venues offering the necessary training. Furthermore, a lack of a common operating language and inadequate outcome metrics were identified as sources of knowledge deficits that create confusion and inhibit process improvement. These findings provided the foundation of this committee's curricular recommendations. The committee constructed operational definitions to improve understanding and promote dialogue between medical advisors and commanders. Active learning principles were used to construct a curriculum that engages learners and enhances retention of new material. This article presents the initial curriculum recommendations for the SOFMEP course, which is currently scheduled for October 2012.

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