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News from <strong>MHCE</strong><br />

<strong>APRIL</strong> <strong>2024</strong> EDITION<br />

Tricare Users Can Now Refill<br />

Prescriptions Through MHS Genesis<br />

Electronic Health Record System<br />

See page 10<br />

Monthly Newsletter<br />

WWW.<strong>MHCE</strong>.US<br />

the interim, qualifying active duty<br />

service members may reach out<br />

to their providers to complete the<br />

necessary paperwork and begin the<br />

process.<br />

Qualifying active duty service<br />

members who have obtained assisted<br />

reproductive technology services at<br />

their own expense after the effective<br />

date of amended policy, will be able<br />

to seek reimbursement once the<br />

policy is fully implemented.<br />

DOD Amends Assisted<br />

Reproductive Services<br />

Policy for Seriously,<br />

Severely Ill or Injured Active<br />

Duty Service Members<br />

Under the amended policy, active<br />

duty service members with a<br />

qualifying illness or injury may<br />

now access this extended benefit<br />

regardless of their marital status,<br />

and they may now use donor<br />

gametes (sperm, egg, or both) and<br />

embryos, when procured at their<br />

own expense.<br />

Although active-duty service<br />

members with a qualifying illness<br />

or injury may begin to use this<br />

benefit now, implementation of<br />

the amended policy will take<br />

some time. The Defense Health<br />

Agency, who is responsible for<br />

implementing the policy changes,<br />

expects necessary updates will<br />

be completed by the summer. In<br />

Kimberly Lahm, a program director<br />

in the Office of the Deputy Assistant<br />

Secretary of Defense for Health<br />

Affairs for Health Services Policy<br />

and Oversight, said the changes to<br />

the policy reflect the department's<br />

commitment toward ensuring equity<br />

of access to reproductive health care<br />

for those who serve.<br />

"We continue to identify ways to<br />

lean forward as much as we can<br />

in support of equity of access to<br />

reproductive health care for our<br />

service members," Lahm said.<br />

In general, the department is<br />

not authorized to provide these<br />

services, and they are excluded<br />

from TRICARE coverage, except in<br />

the provision of these services for<br />

active duty service members with a<br />

qualifying illness or injury.<br />

Continued on page 9

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Monthly Newsletter | 9<br />

Under the amended<br />

policy, qualifying<br />

active-duty service<br />

members are no longer<br />

required to be married<br />

to access assisted<br />

reproductive technology<br />

services, allowing<br />

service members with<br />

a qualifying illness<br />

or injury who are<br />

single or in unmarried<br />

partnerships to utilize<br />

the benefit.<br />

The amended policy<br />

also allows for coverage<br />

of assisted reproductive<br />

technology services<br />

for a qualifying active<br />

duty service members'<br />

spouse, unmarried<br />

partner, or third party<br />

surrogate, so long as<br />

these parties are enrolled<br />

in TRICARE. While<br />

the amended policy no<br />

longer prohibits the<br />

use of a surrogate, paid<br />

surrogacy arrangements<br />

continued to be excluded.<br />

Another key change<br />

to this policy is the<br />

removal of the ban<br />

on the use of donor<br />

gametes (egg, sperm,<br />

or both). Therefore,<br />

service members with<br />

a qualifying illness or<br />

injury may now use<br />

donor eggs, sperm or<br />

embryos when procured<br />

at the service member's<br />

expense.<br />

Lahm said the<br />

adjustments to the<br />

existing policy are specifically<br />

targeted to help more active-duty<br />

service members who have suffered<br />

a qualifying illness or injury realize<br />

their family planning goals, in<br />

accordance with DOD authority to<br />

provide this benefit.<br />

Since taking office, Secretary of<br />

Defense Lloyd J. Austin III has<br />

prioritized efforts to strengthen<br />

support for DOD personnel and<br />

family members under his "Taking<br />

Care of Our Service Members and<br />

Families" campaign.<br />

Those efforts include key initiatives<br />

to improve the lives of service<br />

members and their families through<br />

access to quality and affordable<br />

child care and easing the burden of<br />

relocation for military families.<br />

Lahm said women's health policy<br />

and access to reproductive care<br />

are important areas of focus, within the<br />

broader initiative to take care of military<br />

families.<br />

That includes Austin's October 2022<br />

directive ensuring access to reproductive<br />

health care and expanding contraceptive<br />

access through walk-in contraception<br />

services at all major military medical<br />

treatment facilities, among other<br />

initiatives.<br />

Lahm said ensuring access to reproductive<br />

health care gives service members the<br />

resources needed to support their family<br />

planning goals and is important to overall<br />

quality of life.<br />

"We're doing what we can to support<br />

our service members in making the<br />

reproductive health decisions that align<br />

with their family planning goals," Lahm<br />

said. "That is just one example of how<br />

we're supporting Secretary Austin's<br />

'taking care of our people' initiative."

10 | <strong>MHCE</strong> - News www.mhce.us <strong>APRIL</strong><strong>2024</strong> EDITION WWW.<strong>MHCE</strong>.US<br />

Monthly Newsletter | 11<br />

release. Patients requested about<br />

30,000 refills through MHS Genesis<br />

in the first week the service was<br />

available.<br />

In addition to requesting prescription<br />

refills, patients can access their<br />

health data, notes, test results and<br />

appointments within MHS Genesis,<br />

and they can request prescription<br />

renewals and communicate with<br />

health care providers via secure<br />

messaging.<br />

Tricare Users Can Now Refill<br />

Prescriptions Through MHS Genesis<br />

Electronic Health Record System<br />

Beneficiaries wanted the ability to<br />

request refills within MHS Genesis,<br />

U.S. Public Health Service Lt. Cmdr.<br />

Minh Doan, patient portal solution<br />

owner for the Defense Health<br />

Agency, said in the news release. "It<br />

is another tool for beneficiaries to<br />

manage their own health care."<br />

Patients may still request refills from<br />

military pharmacies by using the<br />

automated phone system, a Defense<br />

Health Agency spokesperson stated.<br />

beneficiaries can now request<br />

prescription refills from military<br />

pharmacies by logging into their<br />

MHS Genesis electronic health<br />

record.<br />

The Defense Health Agency added<br />

the "new feature" to the MHS<br />

Genesis Patient Portal on Feb. 29.<br />

The new refill option applies only<br />

if a military pharmacy originally<br />

filled the prescription. Prescriptions<br />

originally filled by Express<br />

Scripts home delivery or a retail<br />

network pharmacy must be refilled<br />

accordingly.<br />

Patients who would like to renew a<br />

refill in MHS Genesis should click<br />

on the "Rx Refills" tab on their MHS<br />

Genesis Patient Portal home page,<br />

the Defense Health Agency said in<br />

a news releasedated March 15. The<br />

portal allows users to see all their<br />

prescriptions that are available to<br />

refill; to choose which to refill and<br />

where; and to find out when they're<br />

ready to pick up.<br />

MHS Genesis deems a prescription<br />

eligible for a refill when it estimates<br />

that 75% of the previous fill of the<br />

medication has been used. "Your<br />

prescriptions won't be eligible for<br />

refill before that time," according to<br />

the release.<br />

To register their MHS Genesis<br />

account, Tricare beneficiaries need<br />

their DoD Self-Service Logon,<br />

or DS Logon, from the Defense<br />

Manpower Data Center, a Personal<br />

Identity Verification card, or a<br />

Common Access Card.<br />

The Defense Department completed<br />

its deployment of MHS Genesis<br />

in October, and it's "now in use at<br />

every [U.S.] military hospital and<br />

clinic worldwide," according to the<br />

As of March 13, outages of the<br />

patient portals were still a possibility,<br />

stemming from a cyberattack<br />

against Change Healthcare, part of<br />

UnitedHealth Group, according to<br />

the Tricare website. In an outage,<br />

call the automated phone line to<br />

request your refill.<br />

Tricare patients can still log in to<br />

their Tricare Online Patient Portal<br />

accounts until Oct. 1 to download<br />

personal health information.

12 | <strong>MHCE</strong> - News www.mhce.us <strong>APRIL</strong><strong>2024</strong> EDITION WWW.<strong>MHCE</strong>.US<br />

Monthly Newsletter | 13<br />



When you joined the military, you dedicated your life<br />

to serving our country. At Centurion Health, we<br />

dedicate our lives to transforming the health of the<br />

communities we serve, one patient at a time.<br />




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14 | <strong>MHCE</strong> - News www.mhce.us <strong>APRIL</strong><strong>2024</strong> EDITION WWW.<strong>MHCE</strong>.US<br />

Monthly Newsletter | 15<br />

DOD Remains Committed to Protecting<br />

Health of Service Members, Learning From<br />

Effects of COVID-19<br />

Dr. Lester Martinez-Lopez, assistant secretary<br />

of defense for health affairs, and Shauna<br />

Stahlman, senior managing epidemiologist<br />

and technical lead in the field of epidemiology<br />

and analysis at the Armed Forces Health<br />

Surveillance Division, provided insight into<br />

the Pentagon's ongoing monitoring of COVID-<br />

19-related issues during a roughly 45-minute<br />

appearance before a House Armed Services<br />

Committee.<br />

"Today, four years after the emergence of<br />

SARS-CoV-2 virus, it continues to circulate<br />

in our military communities and evolve into<br />

new variants, presenting and ongoing health<br />

threat capable of harming service members<br />

and affecting operations," Martinez-Lopez told<br />

members of the Subcommittee on Personnel.<br />

"The department remains committed to<br />

protecting the health of the force and to better<br />

understand these impacts."<br />

In addressing some of the specific ways in<br />

which DOD is attempting to get a leg up on<br />

COVID-19, Martinez-Lopez pointed to a<br />

pair of databases that medical analysts are<br />

using to investigate data and trends related<br />

to COVID-19. One is the Defense Medical<br />

Surveillance System, or DMSS, which is<br />

a relational database that is continuously<br />

expanding with the documentation of service<br />

members' individual medical experiences<br />

throughout their careers; the second is the<br />

Defense Medical Epidemiology Database,<br />

which provides limited remote access to DMSS<br />


16 | <strong>MHCE</strong> - News www.mhce.us <strong>APRIL</strong><strong>2024</strong> EDITION WWW.<strong>MHCE</strong>.US<br />

Monthly Newsletter | 17<br />

Hicks Underscores DOD's<br />

Commitment to Suicide Prevention<br />

Providing supportive and protective<br />

environments is a top priority at the highest<br />

reaches of the Pentagon, Hicks said as she<br />

underscored the dedication of those who<br />

have worked tirelessly to "spread hope,<br />

address stigma and other barriers to care,<br />

and drive a healthier culture."<br />

"It takes devoted teams to tackle the<br />

difficult subject of suicide prevention," she<br />

said. "Over the years, we've understood<br />

that we cannot go about this work with<br />

a one-size-fits-all approach. Suicide has<br />

no single root cause or solution. That's<br />

why the department is taking a public<br />

health approach — because this problem<br />

requires a range of prevention methods<br />

and treatment options to get after it."<br />

Hicks joined several top officials —<br />

including Gilbert Cisneros, undersecretary<br />

of defense for personnel and readiness;<br />

Elizabeth B. Foster, executive director<br />

of the Office of Force Resiliency; Jeffrey<br />

R. Register, director of Defense Human<br />

Resources Activity; and Liz Clark,<br />

director of the Defense Suicide Prevention<br />

Office — in recognizing several units that<br />

demonstrated innovation and excellence<br />

in suicide prevention during fiscal 2021-<br />

2022.<br />

"Today's recipients have been working<br />

tirelessly to implement that approach,"<br />

Hicks said. "They've taken major steps<br />

to promote connectedness, belonging and<br />

community ... to find creative ways to<br />

promote new and available health care<br />

options."<br />

Those units receiving the recognition<br />

include U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-<br />

Pfalz in Kaiserlautern, Germany; Guam<br />

Army National Guard in Barrigada, Guam;<br />

Marine Aircraft Group 12 in Iwakuni,<br />

Japan; Naval Special Warfare U.S. Special<br />

Operations Command in San Diego; and<br />

Air Force Air Combat Command jointly<br />

with Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Hampton<br />

and Newport News, Virginia.<br />

"Our honorees' work on suicide prevention<br />

has been more than conceptual," Hicks<br />

said. "They've launched campaigns to get<br />

the word out on life-changing information.<br />

They've organized outreach events to<br />

increase awareness. They've helped<br />

match people to the community support<br />

systems that best suit their needs. And<br />

they've nurtured connectedness at every<br />

level — from individuals to the squadron,<br />

command, and battalion levels — to help<br />

save lives.<br />

"These programs, and the people who<br />

implement and manage them, have made<br />

the fight against suicide a top priority," she<br />

said.<br />

In recognition of September as National<br />

Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month,<br />

DOD has launched its 2023-<strong>2024</strong> annual<br />

campaign, titled "Connect to Protect:<br />

Support is within Reach."<br />

In his remarks during the recognition<br />

ceremony, Cisneros emphasized the<br />

importance of establishing healthy<br />

connections and relationships in suicide<br />

prevention.<br />

"There is often a sense among the military<br />

community and among service members<br />

that they need to be strong and fully<br />

capable at all times," he said. "They<br />

believe strength is enduring their lowest<br />

moments, and darkest thoughts alone. But<br />

nothing could be further from the truth.<br />

"We recognize that asking for help is<br />

challenging, but we are making it easier<br />

to get help in the military community<br />

by creating connections through local<br />

programing," he said. "We help by saying<br />

we are here for you. We help by creating<br />

supportive and protective environments.<br />

That is our goal and one which we must<br />

continue to strive towards."<br />

While stationed in the 48 contiguous states,<br />

service members, veterans and family<br />

members in crisis can seek help through<br />

the veterans/military crisis line by:<br />

Calling 988 and accessing option 1.<br />

Texting to 838255.<br />

Chatting at VeteransCrisisLine.net/Chat.<br />

Those stationed outside of the U.S. can<br />

access the crisis line by:<br />

Calling 00800 1273 8255 or<br />

DSN 118 in Europe.<br />

Calling 080-855-5118 or<br />

DSN 118 in Japan and Korea.<br />

Dialing 1-800 273-8255 or<br />

DSN 111 in Afghanistan.<br />

To access noncrisis support, service<br />

members and their immediate family<br />

members can connect with Military<br />

OneSource for free access to confidential<br />

counseling.<br />

Mental health and counseling services are<br />

also available through Tricare.<br />

DOD civilian employees can access<br />

resources, information and confidential<br />

help by calling 1-866-580-9046.

18 | <strong>MHCE</strong> - News www.mhce.us <strong>APRIL</strong><strong>2024</strong> EDITION WWW.<strong>MHCE</strong>.US<br />

Monthly Newsletter | 19<br />

A Journey of Inspiration, Leadership<br />

In an exclusive interview, I had<br />

the pleasure of sitting down<br />

with U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Telita<br />

Crosland, the fourth director<br />

of the Defense Health Agency,<br />

to delve into her extraordinary<br />

leadership journey. Throughout<br />

our discussion, she shared<br />

personal anecdotes and insights<br />

that have shaped her life as a<br />

leader, woman and an African<br />

American professional. From<br />

her humble beginnings in the<br />

boroughs of New York City, to<br />

her current role as a trailblazer<br />

in military medicine, she<br />

reflects on pivotal moments<br />

and offers invaluable advice<br />

to aspiring leaders. Crosland<br />

was born in the Brooklyn and<br />

later raised in Queens, where<br />

she cultivated a great passion<br />

for service and leadership.<br />

Reflecting on her upbringing,<br />

she described the tightly knit<br />

community. Crosland drew<br />

parallels to television shows of<br />

yesteryear, reminisced about<br />

her neighborhood, comprising<br />

rows of cozy, free-standing<br />

houses, the environment where<br />

she cherished the close bonds<br />

within her family, including her<br />

mother, father, two brothers,<br />

and sister — each contributing<br />

to the formative childhood<br />

memories that shaped her early<br />

life and who she is today.<br />

At an early age, Crosland<br />

knew she wanted to become a<br />

doctor. "I always wanted to be<br />

a physician, since I was about 5<br />

years old," Crosland said of her<br />

calling to the profession.<br />

Values<br />

Her parents and family instilled<br />

in her a trio of values she has<br />

carried throughout her journey:<br />

expectations, accountability<br />

and unconditional love.<br />

"You take those expectations,<br />

accountability<br />

and<br />

unconditional love, and you<br />

apply that to who you are as an<br />

adult and as a leader," Crosland<br />

said. "As a leader, my job is to<br />

make sure I set the conditions<br />

so that those expectations can<br />

be realized. Absolutely, I see

20 | <strong>MHCE</strong> - News www.mhce.us <strong>APRIL</strong><strong>2024</strong> EDITION WWW.<strong>MHCE</strong>.US<br />

Monthly Newsletter | 21<br />

the fingerprints of my parents<br />

on the accountability — you're<br />

here to bring value. "You're here<br />

to contribute to this world no<br />

matter what, do what is right. "<br />

"My sister is a teacher, and my<br />

brother is in law enforcement,"<br />

she added. "A lot of us serve, but<br />

you have to do good for others.<br />

That starts with doing good for<br />

your family."<br />

She explained it as first, they set<br />

high expectations, not only for<br />

her but also for her siblings. Next,<br />

they emphasized the importance<br />

of accountability, teaching her<br />

to take responsibility for her<br />

actions. Lastly, they showered<br />

her with unconditional love,<br />

affirming her value as a human<br />

being and instilling in her a duty<br />

to contribute to her family, her<br />

community and beyond.<br />

Framing<br />

Addressing the intersectionality<br />

of her identity as a woman<br />

and an African American in<br />

the military, Crosland said she<br />

doesn't focus her achievements<br />

through that lens.<br />

"I don't actually frame anything<br />

I do day-in and day-out in the<br />

terms of my race or my gender.<br />

That's always been a hard<br />

question for me to answer," she<br />

said. "It's not because I don't<br />

understand the responsibility …<br />

certainly, there are challenges<br />

that come from being a woman<br />

in the military, there are<br />

challenges that come from being<br />

African American and being in<br />

the military."<br />

As I became more senior, I had<br />

a better appreciation of my role<br />

and responsibility to be a good<br />

role model for the community of<br />

women and African Americans<br />

and service members," Crosland<br />

continued. "Folks will look at<br />

me and they will see different<br />

aspects that resonate with<br />

them. And I'm accountable and<br />

responsible for the parts that<br />

resonate with them. Whether<br />

you're a woman, whether you're<br />

African American, and I didn't<br />

always lean into that, but I<br />

certainly become more mindful<br />

of it and try to lean into that by<br />

being more accessible, being<br />

more transparent, so that folks<br />

understand who you are."<br />

Crosland does not frame her<br />

accomplishments solely in<br />

terms of race or gender. She<br />

emphasizes that while she<br />

acknowledges the significance<br />

of her role in representing these<br />

attributes in the military and<br />

society, she does not classify her<br />

achievements based on these<br />

factors. Instead, she focuses<br />

on embracing her unique<br />

identity and strives to inspire<br />

others, surpassing barriers and<br />

dispelling stereotypes along the<br />

way.<br />

As a massive advocate for<br />

mentorship and professional<br />

development, Crosland<br />

underscores investing in the next<br />

generation. She highlights the<br />

significance of mentorship and<br />

emphasizes the responsibility<br />

of other leaders to share their<br />

stories to help contribute to the<br />

growth of others.<br />

"The most significant thing I<br />

will do as a director is make sure<br />

the organization is positioned to<br />

continue its legacy of greatness<br />

to do the hard work," she<br />

explained. "The only way you<br />

do that is invest in those around<br />

you — to help them grow, learn<br />

and be positioned to say, 'We've<br />

got to invest in our future, and<br />

so I'm committed to that for our<br />

entire team,' regardless of your<br />

race, regardless of your gender."<br />

"I am mindful that if I<br />

communicate the right way,<br />

authentically, transparently,<br />

truthfully, that it will resonate<br />

with minorities, it will resonate<br />

with women because they'll see<br />

themselves in me."<br />

Inspired by a childhood book<br />

and fueled by her determination,<br />

she even wrote a poem affirming<br />

her aspirations. Throughout her<br />

upbringing, she stayed steadfast<br />

in her desire to pursue a career<br />

in medicine. She attributes her<br />

unwavering determination to<br />

her parents, whom she considers<br />

her greatest inspiration.<br />

Learning From Experiences<br />

She prioritizes leader<br />

development and ensures the<br />

Defense Health Agency is<br />

positioned to uphold its legacy of<br />

greatness. With a commitment<br />

to the professional development<br />

of her team, she communicates<br />

authentically, fostering a sense<br />

of inclusion and belonging to<br />

all within the DHA. In addition,<br />

she offers sound advice to<br />

young individuals and urges<br />

them to stay present, embrace<br />

challenges and never succumb<br />

to self-doubt. She reflects on<br />

her early days as a medical<br />

intern to assuming command<br />

as a colonel. Each milestone<br />

has shaped her resilience and<br />

fortitude into what it is today.<br />

Crosland encourages the next<br />

generation to seize opportunities<br />

and chart their path to success.<br />

"When I was younger,<br />

everything was a big deal,"<br />

Crosland said. "Everything felt<br />

intense. Everything felt that this<br />

is the moment, and looking back on myself, I would say, 'take a<br />

deep breath. Be in the moment.'"<br />

She also highlights the importance of taking a deep breath and<br />

placing each experience in context. Crosland encourages aspiring<br />

leaders to be present, using their current resources and knowledge<br />

to do their best. She cautions against focusing on the uncertainties<br />

of tomorrow by noting, "Don't borrow worry from tomorrow; it<br />

will find you," urging individuals not to waste present opportunities<br />

due to worries about the future.<br />

CAMP<br />


22 | <strong>MHCE</strong> - News www.mhce.us <strong>APRIL</strong><strong>2024</strong> EDITION WWW.<strong>MHCE</strong>.US<br />

Monthly Newsletter | 23<br />

“It just means we are here and that<br />

reassured our allies and partner<br />

nations,” Capt. Paul Burkhart,<br />

commanding officer of the Bataan,<br />

said after disembarking the ship.<br />

Hampton Roads Sailors<br />

from Bataan Group Return<br />

from 8-Month Deployment<br />

“Let’s go home,” Petty Officer<br />

3rd Class Marquez Martinez said<br />

while adjusting his sea bag on his<br />

shoulder.<br />

“Yes, let’s go,” beamed wife<br />

Katarina Martinez, toting<br />

8-month-old Alaina on her hip<br />

while 2-year-old Mason sat in<br />

the stroller. The kids donned starspangled<br />

pants that complemented<br />

their father’s dress blues.<br />

Martinez, an information systems<br />

technician, was one of 1,000 sailors<br />

welcomed home Thursday from<br />

the Bataan Amphibious Ready<br />

Group following an extended<br />

eight-month deployment to the<br />

Middle East. The group included<br />

assault ship USS Bataan, which<br />

pulled into port Thursday at Naval<br />

Station Norfolk, and dock landing<br />

ship USS Carter Hall, which<br />

returned to its homeport of Joint<br />

Expeditionary Base Little Creek<br />

in Virginia Beach. Transport dock<br />

USS Mesa Verde, homeported at<br />

Naval Station Norfolk, returns<br />

Friday.<br />

The 26th Marine Expeditionary<br />

Unit deployed with the Bataan<br />

group July 10 from Hampton<br />

Roads to create an interoperable<br />

force capable of storming foreign<br />

shores. The rapid response Marine<br />

force returned home to Camp<br />

Lejeune, North Carolina.<br />

The mission for this deployment<br />

was all about presence.<br />

Less than two weeks after the<br />

group deployed, the Bataan<br />

and Carter Hall were ordered<br />

to sail to the Middle East to<br />

bolster maritime security. After<br />

roughly four months of deterring<br />

aggression, the Department of<br />

Defense sent the Bataan group<br />

toward Israel following the Oct. 7<br />

attack by Hamas, long designated<br />

a terrorist organization by the<br />

U.S. The Bataan and Carter Hall<br />

operated in the Red Sea before<br />

later rejoining the Mesa Verde in<br />

the Eastern Mediterranean.<br />

The Bataan group participated in<br />

Operation Prosperity Guardian,<br />

a U.S.-led multinational security<br />

task force formed in December<br />

to respond to increased Iranianbacked<br />

Houthi attacks on shipping<br />

in the Red Sea.<br />

“It’s all about contingency<br />

response — special operations<br />

that we see are necessary in<br />

today’s world to do the wide<br />

variety of missions, specifically in<br />

the Eastern Mediterranean,” said<br />

Adm. Daryl Caudle, commander<br />

of Norfolk-based U.S. Fleet<br />


24 | <strong>MHCE</strong> - News www.mhce.us <strong>APRIL</strong><strong>2024</strong> EDITION<br />



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