The Pentagon is moving toward some sort of merger of medical forces among the services, but at McGuire AFB, N.J., the process is already in being. Army physical therapists at nearby Ft. Dix have moved to McGuire to work with Air Force physical therapists, forming a joint PT clinic. It’s a forerunner to other consolidations at McGuire directed by BRAC 2005 that will create a superbase of the Air Force, Army, and Navy facilities in the area. The PT merger, says Maj. Susan Davidson, 305th Medical Group joint PT flight commander, will save DOD $880,000 in physical therapy referrals” each year to civilian physicians. She forecasts that once all medical programs are under one roof at McGuire, the savings will be $2.4 million per year. Officials expect the Ft. Dix troop medical clinic to relocate with McGuire’s 305th Medical Group sometime next year.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.