ASAN, Guam—U.S. Navy sailors are working to relocate in the coming weeks a Navy Expeditionary Medical Facility—a temporary hospital—to a new location from a U.S. Department of Defense property in South Finegayan to Santa Rita.
As the Mariana Islands and the greater Indo-Pacific prepare for typhoon season, DoD leadership elected to carry out the EMF’s relocation to a hardened facility to preserve its mission readiness in the face of possible destructive winds and rain.
“As a military organization, we have to be ready to adjust to changing conditions on the ground, and still be postured to complete the mission. The decision to move the EMF to Santa Rita was made based on prudent recommendations from our medical and expeditionary leadership,” said Rear Adm. John Menoni, commander, Joint Region Marianas. “We are committed to maintaining our ability to provide a critical capacity backstop for U.S. Naval Hospital Guam’s COVID-19 response, and we will remain ready, if requested, to support Guam and the region.”
The purpose of the EMF’s original construction in South Finegayan was to rapidly expand the military’s on-island medical capability and capacity to be ready to support the recovery of sailors assigned to aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt. In addition, the EMF augmented DoD’s ability to respond to the threat posed by COVID-19 in the region and to maintain mission readiness.
Service members will begin relocating the EMF and integrate its medical structures and capabilities with pre-existing hardened structures at Naval Base Guam’s Santa Rita compound, providing the EMF with increased durability and mitigating the risks posed by destructive weather.
The EMF is a self-contained medical care facility, which will remain deployed in Guam to provide expanded medical capabilities in support of the DoD’s COVID-19 response. Additionally, the EMF will enable forces to be postured to support Guam and the region if a Defense Support of Civil Authorities mission is requested.
The EMF’s status as a Role 3 Military Treatment Facility provides additional medical services similar to that of a community hospital, including operating rooms, an intensive care unit, an acute care ward, extended patient holding, equipment sterilization, a medical laboratory, a pharmacy, and other ancillary services.
Seabees assigned to 30th Naval Construction Regiment completed construction of the original EMF in South Finegayan the week of May 11, achieving full operating capability and enabling the EMF to execute all of its designated medical tasks.
Navy leadership selected South Finegayan as the location for the original facility due to the land being readily available DoD property, which was flat and abundant in size. However, in order to support sustained medical capabilities and additional capacity in the military’s regional fight against COVID-19 throughout typhoon season, sailors will relocate the EMF to the Santa Rita compound, which is a more consolidated site with durable structures.
The Santa Rita compound was not immediately available for use at the time the South Finegayan site was selected for EMF construction. (PR)