The US Air Force Medical Service (AFMS) has activated a new field operating agency (FOA), the Air Force Medical Readiness Agency (AFMRA).

The activation ceremony was held at the Defense Health Headquarters in Falls Church, Virginia, US.

The organisation was stood up to fulfil a requirement from the fiscal year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act to establish a unit dedicated to improving readiness.

US Air Force surgeon general lieutenant general Dorothy Hogg said: “We are in exciting and historic times as we engage in multiple lines of effort to transform our organisation to support a more ready airforce.

“Activating AFMRA streamlines our organisation from a dual-focus on health benefit delivery and readiness, to one laser-focused on readiness.”

Activation of AFMRA will drive operational medical readiness and support the airforce secretary’s vision to achieve a more ready fighting force.

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The primary task of the new organisation will be to supervise medical readiness programmes, expeditionary medical capabilities, and readiness-related airforce mission support requirements.

In addition, AFMRA will provide assistance to the surgeon general in the development of policies to support the airforce’s major commands and base-level unit missions.

The ceremony also marked the standing down of the previous two FOAs in the AFMS, the Air Force Medical Operations Agency and the Air Force Medical Support Agency.

“Activating AFMRA streamlines our organisation from a dual-focus on health benefit delivery and readiness, to one laser-focused on readiness.”

AFMRA commander brigadier general Mark Koeniger said: “AFMRA lets us be more responsive to emerging readiness requirements. AFMRA improves our support to the readiness mission at military treatment facilities and airforce major commands, while also helping the Defense Health Agency take on management of the health care benefit at MTFs.”

The organisation is expected to achieve full operating capability next year.

The creation of AFMRA represents another step in the overhaul of the AFMS and the overall military health system.

Meanwhile, AFMS unveiled a medical model to restore the overall readiness of forces.

The service will create provider care teams aligned with an operational medical readiness squadron to improve the availability of airmen to support combat missions.