SAN ANTONIO - Navy Medicine Education and Training (NMETC) officially opened the doors at the new San Antonio location during a Sept. 28 ribbon-cutting ceremony at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston.
NMETC, the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery's (BUMED) point of accountability for all Navy Medicine training, relocated to Fort Sam Houston after a July change of command ceremony at the establishment's former headquarters at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Fla.
The ribbon cutting ceremony, which featured remarks from guest speaker Navy Deputy Surgeon General Rear Adm. Michael H. Mittelman, celebrated a milestone in Navy Medicine, something Mittelman said can only ensure the unparalleled training and education U.S. Navy medical professionals receive will continue.
"We have the best-trained hospital corpsmen, nurses, doctors, allied health and other medical professionals in the world," he said. "This is a direct result of the very talented people who comprise Navy Medicine - those who manage and provide the training from our numerous training facilities located across the country and around the world.
Locating our education and training headquarters alongside the Army and Air Force headquarters builds on their great expertise and traditions and can only serve to further our Naval and joint mission - to ensure the men and women we train continue to save lives all over the world."
NMETC, focused on the education and training mission of preparing personnel to perform in the garrison and operational environments, is headquartered at Fort Sam Houston with detachments in Jacksonville and Bethesda, Md.
The relocation stems from the Navy Surgeon General's vision of streamlining Navy Medicine into a more effective, efficient and responsive organization that improves accountability, and command and control.
The ceremony, hosted by NMETC commander, Capt. Gail L. Hathaway, also included a reception and facility tour, which followed the ribbon cutting.
Hathaway said the NMETC mission remains steadfast in alignment with Navy Medicine objectives and Chief of Naval Operations directives.
"Navy Medicine exists to save lives," she said. "Our priority is to support the men and women deployed on the ground in combat and on ships, submarines and in the air. NMETC is ready to support this work by providing medical personnel education and training that supports readiness and is of value to the individual and the Navy."
Initially, 12 military and civilian personnel will be assigned to NMETC's new headquarters location with approximately 60 personnel remaining at the Jacksonville and Bethesda locations. The Navy Medicine Operational Training Center (NMOTC) in Pensacola, Fla., the Navy Medicine Professional Development Center (NMPDC) in Bethesda, Md., and the Navy Medicine Training Support Center (NMTSC) at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, are echelon four commands aligned to NMETC.
NMOTC is the premier training facility for operational medicine and aviation survival, and NMPDC provides post-graduate education programs, dental residency programs and leadership and professional development training to educate, train and support Navy Medicine personnel to optimize the health and readiness of the warfighter.
NMTSC provide leadership, professional development, operational and administrative support to assigned naval personnel and functional support to the Medical Education and Training Campus and other inter-service training programs in the San Antonio, Texas area.
The official opening of NMETC at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston serves as a hallmark in Navy Medicine, occurring a year after Hospital Corps School - the largest Navy 'A' School - relocated to Fort Sam Houston as part of the 2005 Base Realignment & Closure (BRAC) Commission order that consolidated and collocated enlisted medical education to Fort Sam Houston.
NMETC is part of the Navy Medicine team, a global health care network of Navy medical personnel around the world who provide high-quality health care to more than one million eligible beneficiaries. Navy Medicine personnel deploy with Sailors and Marines worldwide, providing critical mission support aboard ship, in the air, under the sea and on the battlefield.