Senior military medical officials from Vietnam, together with nine other ASEAN member countries and eight partners – namely Australia, China, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Russia and the United States, are gathering in Singapore for their third meeting of the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM)-Plus Experts’ Working Group on Military Medicine (EWG-MM).

The meeting is taking place on October 9-11 and co-chaired by Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) Chief of Medical Corps Rear-Admiral Kang Wee Lee and Japan’s Ministry of Defense Bureau of Personnel and Education’s Director of Health and Medical Division Toyonori Omori.

It was reported at the meeting that over the past three years, the EWG-MM has identified common challenges in military medical support operations; developed a set of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to establish a common understanding and operating language of Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) medical support; and developed a Register of national Points of Contact and a Register of National Emergency Management Agencies of all ADMM-Plus countries. The EWG-MM has also worked with Brunei and the EWG on in the planning and conduct of the inaugural ADMM-Plus HADR/MM Exercise that was held in Brunei in June 2013.

At the meeting, Singapore and Japan handed-over the co-chairmanship of the EWG-MM to Thailand and Russia. As part of the overall commitment to the ADMM-Plus process, Singapore will co-chair the EWG on Counter-Terrorism with Australia in the next cycle of the EWGs from 2014 to 2017.-VNA