USAMRDC, Republic of Korea Resume Historic Meeting after COVID Pause
The U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command and the Republic of Korea Armed Forces Medical Command held the 50th Technological Cooperation Sub Committee Medical Working Group Meeting at Fort Detrick, Maryland from June 1-2. This year's meeting was designed to discuss and review how both organizations worked together to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, which had been previously cancelled each of the past two years due to a COVID-related environment.
The TCSC meeting, an event designed to explore international medical research opportunities between the U.S. and the ROK, rotates locations annually between the two countries. For USAMRDC and ROK AFMC, the meeting attempts to synchronize joint efforts related to technological studies, research advancements and maintaining partnerships for potential future information exchange efforts.
"This year's meeting touched upon research and development efforts that are critical to the protection and care of our Service Members," said Brig. Gen. Tony McQueen, commanding general of USAMRDC and Fort Detrick. "From virus diagnostics and vaccines to trauma care and psychological health, our collaboration can help us stay ahead of developing threats."
Both USAMRDC and ROK AFMC contributed substantially to research efforts designed to prevent and treat COVID-19 over the past two years. The International Vaccine Institute and the Korea University Medical School Virus Lab, in collaboration with USAMRDC's Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, were a model of a successful partnership regarding COVID response and surveillance.
"The last two years highlighted just how vital our collaboration is for Soldier health and world health," said McQueen. "The importance of our relationship and this ongoing forum cannot be overstated."
The meeting represents the latest iteration in a lengthy, enduring partnership between the two countries that began with the signing of the Mutual Defense Treaty in 1953. In recognition of that tradition, both USAMRDC and ROK AFMC signed a Memorandum of Agreement to renew their collaborative agreement.
"We are drawing and painting dreams between Korea and the U.S.," said Brig. Gen. Byung Seop Choi, commanding general, ROK AFMC. "The TCSC meeting with USAMRDC is procuring the future, making the bondage stronger between our two countries."
In addition to the traditional document signing, ROK AFMC delegates and USAMRDC attendees exchanged gifts as a means to symbolize their friendship. Next year, ROK AFMC will host the meeting and discuss topics and action items determined at this year's meeting to enhance solutions that support the futures of both forces.