The Irregular Warfare Center (IWC) Hosts IW Medical Resiliency Workgroup
The newly established Irregular Warfare Center hosted its first IW-themed event, the IW Medical Resiliency Workgroup, from Feb. 22-24, 2023, in Bethesda, Md.
This event was the Center’s initial working group for Irregular Warfare Medicine curriculum development. The event brought together U.S. and allied and partner nation surgeons to discuss medical capabilities in contested or non-permissive environments.
Opening remarks were provided by the Honorable Christopher P. Maier, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict, Dr. Woodson, the President of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and Dr. Dennis Walters, IWC Acting Director.
“As the Center’s first IW-themed event, we’re extremely honored to have so many subject matter experts from across the globe on-hand to provide essential insight, expertise, innovative ideas and forward thinking into the development of Irregular Warfare Medicine curriculum,” said Walters. “The IWC team is proud and grateful to be part of a group of SMEs leading the way in making a distinctive difference for future generations.”
Medical leaders from U.S. Special Operations Command, the theater special operations commands, Department of Defense medical security cooperation entities, the Department of State, the Department of Health and Human Services and several allied nations discussed the use of medical security cooperation as an integral part of medical support to IW.
“This event was an important first step by SOCOM to work with the community of interest to review existing Joint and Service requirements related to IW medical support and to identify if there are gaps in our capability development requirements,” said Maj. Gen. Paul Friedrichs, Joint Staff Surgeon. “With the ongoing focus on medical support as a critical enabler for the Joint Warfighting Concept, this is the ideal time to expand those discussions to include IW medical support.”
The 3-day event included a variety of guest speakers and irregular warfare SME’s, various briefs on Irregular Warfare Medicine topics, as well as break-out sessions to identify capabilities, gaps and share findings to support the IWC’s medical security cooperation efforts.
“Thanks to all of the distinguished guests, presenters, attendees and organizers for supporting and making the IW Medical Resiliency Workgroup a success,” said Lori Leffler, IWC Chief of Staff. “This event showcased the IWC’s foresight and proactive approach in finding innovative solutions for irregular problems.”
The IWC serves as the central mechanism for developing the Department of Defense’s (DOD) irregular warfare knowledge and advancing the Department’s understanding of irregular warfare concepts and doctrine in collaboration with key allies and partners.
“The IWC can help us “reality-check” our plans and curricula,” said Friedrichs. “If we are truly planning for optimal care in future IW engagements, our plans must constantly evolve as the practice of medicine and the character of war are changing at an ever more rapid pace.”
The Center’s foundation is built upon three Lines of Effort:
- AMPLIFY and collaborate to build an innovative and adaptable global networked IW community of interest.
- Strategically ILLUMINATE current and future irregular threats, crises, and obstacles.
- ADDRESS current and future irregular threats to the US, allies, and partners by providing optionality to leaders.
Through these LOEs, the Irregular Warfare Center addresses current and emerging security concerns and challenges with world-class research, rigorous analysis, top-tier strategic education and training for U.S. and international partners.