***image2***A group of Air Force medics teamed up with a battalion of Marines and a handful of Sailors and Soldiers to form the Task Force 2/25 as part of Exercise Shared Accord June 18 to 30 in Senegal.
The Air Force team conducted a Medical Civil Action Program for the people of Linguere and the Army team headed-up construction projects and a Veterinarian Civil Action Program. The battalion of Marines and their Navy corpsmen conducted joint training with the Senegalese commandos at Dodji and were joined by Capt. Paul Kim, public health officer from the Expeditionary Medical Flight, 86th Contingency Response Group.
Captain Kim demonstrated the 86th CRG multifunctional warfighting ethos by participating in traditional and non-traditional roles for a public health officer. As the camp OIC, Captain Kim worked with contractors and Marines to plan and execute the buildup of the tent city, including the personal hygiene and field sanitation areas.
The weather was rough, with temperatures reaching as high as 125 degrees Fahrenheit, and there were several heat casualties treated at the Battle Aid Station.
Despite omnipresent animal feces and the local animals who braved the concertina wire to enter the camp, vigilant work parties managed the trash disposal and other field sanitation issues. The MREs were inspected and found fit to eat, but tests if the contracted ice confirmed that it was contaminated and could only be used to externally cool the bottled water. This combined Marine, Navy and Air Force effort resulted in zero gastrointestinal casualties during the exercise. In addition, Captain Kim and a Navy corpsman sprayed the tent city and field sanitation area to reduce insect population, including camel spiders.
Captain Kim also visited the VETCAP site and sprayed animals with an anti-parasitic, assisted a corpsman during the Senegalese and Marine live fire movement training and exercised his Army Combat Lifesaver training to assist with the treatment of a heat casualty.
Captain Kim was invited by the Senegalese camp commandant and the city mayor of Dodji to give preventive medicine tips to prepare for the upcoming rainy and mosquito season. He left a donation of DEET, permethrin and other personal hygiene items for the camp commandant.
“It wasn’t easy, but I was able to do what the 86th CRG trained me to do in an austere environment, and thanks to the Marines and Sailors, I was successful in my mission,” said Captain Kim, who was there for 24 days.
Lt. Col. Michael Froeder, the executive officer for the Task Force 2/25, summarized the exercise: “This exercise is an overwhelming success. Overall as a task force with personnel and units from all over the country, we’ve conducted an exercise in an arduous environment in a safe manner while providing a great deal of humanitarian assistance to those in need.”
(Story and photo courtesy of the 86th GRG)