Preparing military installations for pandemic influenza through tabletop exercises

Jean Lin Otto, Robert J. Lipnick, Jose L. Sanchez, Robert F. Defraites, Daniel J. Barnett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Effective Department of Defense (DoD) response to pandemic influenza requires robust and well-exercised plans at the installation level. This article describes proceedings and key findings from a half-day "train-the- trainer" pandemic influenza tabletop exercise for Tri-Service installation public health emergency officers (PHEOs) at the August 2008 Force Health Protection conference. Exercise participants were expected to facilitate the execution of a pandemic influenza exercise at their respective installations within 6 months of attendance. On a 6-month follow-up survey (N = 50), 68% indicated their installations had since created a new pandemic influenza plan, or revised an existing one, whereas 44% indicated that their installation had since conducted a pandemic influenza exercise. Chief reported barriers to conducting installation-level pandemic influenza exercises included competing priorities, followed by time, personnel, and budget limitations. Relevant policy implications for installation-level pandemic influenza readiness include access to higher level plans, strategic utilization of assets to optimize surge capacity, and cross-training of personnel.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-13
Number of pages7
JournalMilitary Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


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