Each of the unified combatant commands listed below includes a medical unit led by a command surgeon with a small staff. The medical units are charged with protecting the health of U.S. forces, as well as enhancing the military medical capacities of partner nations and supporting basic medical care in partner countries, including responding to disasters. One important element of the force protection program is medical threat assessment, which includes strengthening systems for global surveillance and response to infectious diseases, such as those caused by biological pathogens.

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