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Acting Surgeon General Via visits USNMRTC Yokosuka to promote lines of effort for the Indo-Pacific

19 October 2023

From Gabriel Archer

The Acting United States Navy Surgeon General, Rear Admiral Darin K. Via, visited United States Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command (USNMRTC) Yokosuka’s Naval Hospital Yokosuka and Branch Health Clinic Iwakuni to engage with the dedicated medical professionals serving in the region. The visit took place from October 15 through 17, 2023.
Acting Surgeon General Rear Admiral Darin K. Via and NMRTU Iwakuni Office In Charge CAPT Demitrack tour the clinic facilities
Acting Surgeon General Rear Admiral Darin K. Via and NMRTU Iwakuni Office In Charge CAPT Demitrack tour the clinic facilities
Acting Surgeon General Rear Admiral Darin K. Via and NMRTU Iwakuni Office In Charge CAPT Demitrack tour the clinic facilities
231017-M-PW644-1027
Acting Surgeon General Rear Admiral Darin K. Via and NMRTU Iwakuni Office In Charge CAPT Demitrack tour the clinic facilities
Photo By: Gabriel Archer
VIRIN: 231017-M-PW644-1027


During the visit, Acting Surgeon General Via met with active duty, civilian, and host nation medical personnel, who are instrumental in ensuring the health and readiness of servicemembers stationed or deployed to the Indo-Pacific area of responsibility. The Acting Surgeon General expressed his gratitude for their unwavering dedication and many contributions to the U.S. Navy and Joint Force mission supporting the National Defense Strategy and the U.S. – Japanese Alliance.

The visit also included discussions on various medical initiatives, healthcare services, and the latest advancements in medical technology within the Military Health System. Acting Surgeon General Via emphasized the importance of continually improving medical capabilities to better support the men, women, and families of the Fleet, Fleet Marine Force, and across the Joint Force.

"I am immensely proud of the exceptional work our medical professionals are doing in Yokosuka and Iwakuni," said Surgeon General Via. "Their commitment to the health and well-being of our Sailors and Marines is truly commendable. We are committed to providing them with the support and resources they need to excel in their mission."

Acting Surgeon General Rear Admiral Darin K. Via answers questions from Sailors and staff from Branch Health Clinic Iwakuni
Acting Surgeon General Rear Admiral Darin K. Via answers questions from Sailors and staff from Branch Health Clinic Iwakuni
Acting Surgeon General Rear Admiral Darin K. Via addresses Sailors and staff from United States Navy Hospital Yokosuka
Acting Surgeon General Rear Admiral Darin K. Via addresses Sailors and staff from United States Navy Hospital Yokosuka
Acting Surgeon General Rear Admiral Darin K. Via visits with (from left to right) Commander Takehito Sawamura, JMSDF Undersea Medical Center, RADM Satoshi Tsukazaki, Director of JSDF Hospital, the Surgeon General of the JMSDF, Rear Admiral Hitoshi Ogawa
Acting Surgeon General Rear Admiral Darin K. Via visits with (from left to right) Commander Takehito Sawamura, JMSDF Undersea Medical Center, RADM Satoshi Tsukazaki, Director of JSDF Hospital, the Surgeon General of the JMSDF, Rear Admiral Hitoshi Ogawa
Acting Surgeon General Rear Admiral Darin K. Via and Force Master Chief Michael J. Roberts visits with Sailors and staff from United States Navy Hospital Yokosuka
Acting Surgeon General Rear Admiral Darin K. Via and Force Master Chief Michael J. Roberts visits with Sailors and staff from United States Navy Hospital Yokosuka
Acting Surgeon General Rear Admiral Darin K. Via visits USNMRTC Yokosuka Board of Directors at United States Naval Hospital Yokosuka
Acting Surgeon General Rear Admiral Darin K. Via visits USNMRTC Yokosuka Board of Directors at United States Naval Hospital Yokosuka
Acting Surgeon General Rear Admiral Darin K. Via and Force Master Chief Michael J. Roberts visit the United States Navy Hospital Yokosuka Operating Rooms
Acting Surgeon General Rear Admiral Darin K. Via and Force Master Chief Michael J. Roberts visit the United States Navy Hospital Yokosuka Operating Rooms


“We are tremendously grateful for the opportunity to demonstrate our capabilities and highlight the accomplishments of our dedicated, innovative, and skilled team providing healthcare services across 9 million square kilometers to over 337,000 operational forces, including U.S. Seventh Fleet, III Marine Expeditionary Force, U.S. Forces Japan, U.S. Forces Korea in the Republic of Korea, and Military Sealift Command in Diego Garcia in the British Indian Ocean Territory. We appreciate Admiral Via’s commitment to our staff and patients in support of U.S. strategic tasking in this important area of operations.” said USNMRTC Yokosuka Commanding Officer T. Blair Hines.

The Acting Surgeon General's visit underscored Navy Medicine’s commitment to ensuring the highest access to care and safety standards in support of forward-deployed U.S. Navy personnel stationed overseas. This commitment plays a crucial role in maintaining the readiness and overall well-being of the Navy's global force.

In a significant step towards enhancing cooperation and interoperability between the United States Navy and the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF), Surgeon General Via met with his counterpart, the Surgeon General of the JMSDF, Rear Admiral Hitoshi Ogawa.

The meeting took place with the primary objective of strengthening medical capabilities and coordination between the partner naval forces. This collaboration aims to ensure enhanced interoperability between the medical systems and to reinforce joint operations in the Indo-Pacific region.

Acting Surgeon General Rear Admiral Darin K. Via visits USNMRTC Yokosuka Board of Directors at United States Naval Hospital Yokosuka
Acting Surgeon General Rear Admiral Darin K. Via visits USNMRTC Yokosuka Board of Directors at United States Naval Hospital Yokosuka
Acting Surgeon General Rear Admiral Darin K. Via and Force Master Chief Michael J. Roberts meritoriously promote HM2 Wade to HM1
Acting Surgeon General Rear Admiral Darin K. Via and Force Master Chief Michael J. Roberts meritoriously promote HM2 Wade to HM1
Acting Surgeon General Rear Admiral Darin K. Via addresses Sailors and staff from United States Navy Hospital Yokosuka
Acting Surgeon General Rear Admiral Darin K. Via addresses Sailors and staff from United States Navy Hospital Yokosuka
Acting Surgeon General Rear Admiral Darin K. Via and Force Master Chief Micheal J. Roberts visit the United States Navy Hospital Yokosuka Maternal Infant Unit
Acting Surgeon General Rear Admiral Darin K. Via and Force Master Chief Micheal J. Roberts visit the United States Navy Hospital Yokosuka Maternal Infant Unit
Acting Surgeon General Rear Admiral Darin K. Via answers questions from Sailors and staff from United States Navy Hospital Yokosuka
Acting Surgeon General Rear Admiral Darin K. Via answers questions from Sailors and staff from United States Navy Hospital Yokosuka
Acting Surgeon General Rear Admiral Darin K. Via visits with (from left to right) CAPT Kim Davis Fleet Surgeon, Commander Takehito Sawamura, JMSDF Undersea Medical Center, RADM Satoshi Tsukazaki, Director of JSDF Hospital, the Surgeon General of the JMSDF, Rear Admiral Hitoshi Ogawa, Commanding Officer, USNMRTC Yokosuka CAPT T. Blair Hines, Executive Officer, USNMRTC Yokosuka CAPT Gilliard
Acting Surgeon General Rear Admiral Darin K. Via visits with (from left to right) CAPT Kim Davis Fleet Surgeon, Commander Takehito Sawamura, JMSDF Undersea Medical Center, RADM Satoshi Tsukazaki, Director of JSDF Hospital, the Surgeon General of the JMSDF, Rear Admiral Hitoshi Ogawa, Commanding Officer, USNMRTC Yokosuka CAPT T. Blair Hines, Executive Officer, USNMRTC Yokosuka CAPT Gilliard


During the meeting, Surgeon General Via expressed his commitment to expanding partnerships in the medical field and highlighted the importance of sharing best practices, research, and training opportunities. Surgeon General Ogawa from the JMSDF echoed these sentiments, emphasizing the value of mutual cooperation in addressing regional and global healthcare challenges.

Key areas of discussion included disaster response, medical logistics, telemedicine, and shared research initiatives. The Surgeons General explored opportunities to exchange medical personnel for cross-training, joint exercises, and disaster relief operations.

This meeting marks a significant milestone in the ongoing efforts to further strengthen the bond between the United States Navy and the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force. Both Surgeons General reaffirmed their commitment to promoting international cooperation, advancing medical capabilities, and maintaining a resilient and healthy naval force.

USNMRTC Yokosuka provides healthcare services and ensures medical readiness to the Indo-Pacific area of responsibility covering nearly 9 million square kilometers (8,920,530.52 km²). Our organization serves over 337,000 operational forces, including the U.S. Seventh Fleet, III Marine Expeditionary Force, U.S. Forces Japan, Marine Corps Installations Pacific, U.S. Forces Korea in the Republic of Korea, and Military Sealift Command in Diego Garcia in the British Indian Ocean Territory. USNMRTC Yokosuka provides a vast array of healthcare to our service-members, families, and Allied Forces from primary and specialty medical care to dental services. USNMRTC Yokosuka leads the AOR with breakthrough performances in healthcare delivery Key Performance Indicators and consistently implements innovative programs to deliver specialty healthcare services efficiently across vast distances.
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