The last patient left Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., ending the hospital’s century of service. The patient, evacuated via ambulance on Aug. 27, moved to the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. The two medical facilities are consolidating per BRAC 2005. With the change, the naval hospital is taking on a new name: the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. “There’s still an energy you can feel in those halls. It’s an energy that’s left behind from the hundreds of thousands of patients we’ve treated in these 102 years, and the tens of thousands of staff members,” said Walter Reed commander Army Col. Norvell Coots. “We take Walter Reed with us and we leave a piece of it here.” The Walter Reed garrison and installation will remain open until Sept. 15. Thereafter, the District of Columbia will assume ownership; the State Department is expected to take over the hospital building. (AFPS report by Terri Moon Cronk)
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.