Veterinary public health essentials to deployment health surveillance: applying zoonotic disease surveillance and food/water safety at SOF deployment sites

J Spec Oper Med. 2009 Fall;9(4):26-31. doi: 10.55460/6UQF-ROX7.


The Special Operations Force (SOF) medic must have a public health and environmental awareness mindset while conducting operations in any AO. Whether deployed at a Forward Operating Base (FOB) or isolated outpost, the SOF medic can specifically apply two U.S. Army veterinary public health mission priorities--zoonotic disease surveillance and food/water safety. The SOF medic should be knowledgeable of and perform continual surveillance for zoonotic disease(s) present within animals in their AO that may affect the deployed SOF team, other American or host-nation Soldiers, and civilians. Likewise, the critical nature of ensuring safe food/water requires the SOF medic to aggressively and continually apply food/water safety principles in all deployment settings. SOF deployments to South America and Afghanistan have confirmed the need and benefits of employing a U.S. Army veterinary public health mission focus. This article is a reference for the SOF medic to expand his overall veterinary public health and environmental awareness skill-set thereby enhancing the varied, intricate, and, often times, political SOF missions.

MeSH terms

  • Allied Health Personnel
  • Animals
  • Food Supply*
  • Humans
  • Military Medicine*
  • Public Health
  • United States
  • Veterinary Medicine*
  • Water Supply*
  • Zoonoses / transmission*