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US Army Medical Readiness Training In Belize

Posted By: Marty

US Army Medical Readiness Training In Belize - 03/01/12 02:50 PM

If you've seen an air convoy of US Military helicopters flying in formation across the countryside recently, it's because the US Army is here spearheading an exercise called MEDRETE (MED-RET) - short for medical readiness training.

The exercises have been a regular occurrence for about two decades and the 2012 edition has the army in the villages of Independence and Bella Vista in the Stann Creek District.

That's where they've been operating clinics with the BDF and the Ministry of Health.

Our camera-man flew down with the Army on an Apache Helicopter today to see what they were doing.

Here's what he found out:

Lt. Col. Keith Pritchard - US Army
"We're planning medical service and care for the Belizean people."

H.E. Vinai Thumalapally - US Ambassador to Belize
"The school has provided the space for all the way from pharmacy, H.I.V testing, to pap smears, and various other treatments that Belizean here need in the area of Independence. So many people have come here; some of them are still waiting in line to register their children and adults and so on, so that's what we are doing."

Lt. Col. Keith Pritchard - US Army
"It's a total of 2 days but in 2 different locations. The first location was in Bella Vista and there we have the chance to be with the local community and service about 650 people. Today, we'll only here in Independence for today. And again, we'll service as many people as possibly can until we have no more medications, and yesterday we have the option to service about 650 and today were up - I think upwards around 400 right now. And I imagine that we'll probably see another 2 or 300 before we complete today."

H. E. Vinai Thumalapally - US Ambassador to Belize
"We also have some Honduran medical professionals here along with BDF - by the way BDF is involved. There are 2 doctors from Belize Defence Force. There are people from the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education and so on as I stated before. So it's truly a success coming out of a partnership, a tremendous partnership collaborating between all these various groups that I mentioned."

The exercise is using Blackhawk and Chinook helicopters in Belize.

Channel 7

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