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The Evolution of the Fleet Hospital Program: From the Cold War Era to the Naval Expeditionary Medical Support System.
NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA
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The global security environment has changed significantly since the original concept of fleet hospitals was developed. This thesis examines the process used to plan and budget for fleet hospitals, and examines the events that shaped the configuration and billet structure of fleet hospitals. Evidence for this thesis was taken from reports from DOD, GAO and Congress, congressional testimony, studies conducted by the Center for Naval Analyses, journal articles, after action reports and pertinent DOD directives and manuals. Additional data were obtained through interviews with key officials involved in resourcing and managing the Fleet Hospital Program and training personnel assigned to augment fleet hospital platforms. The thesis concludes that planning and budgeting for fleet hospitals is dependent on the structure of the THCSRR model. The establishment of Single Sourcing Hospitals to deploy as fleet hospital units is intended to enhance fleet hospital operational performance by capitalizing on working relations developed delivering the peace time benefit. As the Cold War ended and more accurate methods for estimating casualty rates emerged, the requirement for fleet hospitals decreased from 17 to 10. Shifts in Navy and Marine Corps doctrine to lighter, faster and more flexible maneuvers have led to the development of NEMSS.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE