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Okinawa, Japan

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MCIPAC and USNHO leadership host roundtable with Japan’s top media outlets

By Lance Cpl. Karis Mattingly | Marine Corps Base Camp Butler | July 31, 2020


The purpose of the event was to highlight the strength of the MCIPAC and USNHO team and their efforts to maintain readiness while preventing the spread of COVID-19.

The media roundtable consisted of U.S. Navy Capt. David Krulak, Commanding Officer of the United States Naval Hospital, Okinawa, and U.S. Marine Corps Col. Neil Owens, Director of MCIPAC Government and External Affairs, interviewed by Nippon Hoso Kyokai and Kyodo News media outlets.

Owens opened up the event by stating, “Everything we do in this region supports the singular goal of promoting security and stability across the Indo-Pacific while also maintaining and strengthening our partnership.”

The discussion questions were focused on testing capabilities, tracing efforts, and reporting procedures regarding the current COVID-19 situation.

“We have implemented a large-scale, aggressive COVID-19 testing program,” said Krulak. “We are not only testing those in close contact with someone who has tested positive, we are testing as many people as possible if any potential contact occurred. We conduct thorough contact tracing investigations to understand the scope of exposure an individual may have had with other personnel, on base or out in town. USNHO promptly shares this information with Okinawa public health officials.”

The Naval Hospital works closely with MCIPAC, advising them on integrating public health and medical preparedness in their installation response planning. Working in close collaboration, USNHO and MCIPAC are able to quickly and efficiently identify, isolate, and conduct testing and contact tracing for suspected cases of COVID-19.

“USNHO is committed to taking every measure possible to protect the health of our service members, civilians, families, and host nation community,” said Krulak.