Aug 11, Colombo: Members of the United States Pacific Command are in Sri Lanka to join forces with Sri Lankan partners to provide humanitarian assistance to civilians in Sri Lanka during Pacific Angel 2018.
Members of the U.S. Air Force and Sri Lankan Air Force (SLAF) participated in the opening ceremony for Pacific Angel (PAC ANGEL)18-4 held in Anuradhapura on August 7.
PAC ANGEL is an annual joint and combined humanitarian assistance and disaster relief engagement that includes general health and engineering programs, as well as various subject-matter expert exchanges.
A Health Service Outreach (HSO), Engineering Civic Action Programme (ENCAP) projects and Subject Matter Expert Exchanges (SMEEs) have been arranged in Vavuniya, Anuradhapura, Hingurakgoda, Ratmalana and Sigiriya during the joint exercise.
During this exercise, approximately 65 U.S. military members will partner and train with Sri Lankan service members, local non-governmental organizations and partner nations. The SLAF will mainly provide available infrastructure facilities and assistance for the successful conduct of the exercise.
The Health Services Outreach (HSO) , Engineering Civil Programme (ENCAP )and Subject Matter Expert Exchanges (SMEEs) are conducted at selected sites and will provide benefits to the local population, while allowing both multinational responders and Sri Lankans to practice providing emergency medical assistance and engaging in reconstruction, following a disaster situation.
The first stage of the medical program was conducted at SLAF Base Anuradhapura in the form of two SMEEs on vector borne disease surveillance and water surveillance on 07th August with the participation of experts on both the fields from US Air Force, SLAF and health ministry of Sri Lanka.
The SMEE on water surveillance was conducted from 7th to 8th August 2018 at SLAF Base Anuradhapura and from 9th to 10th August 2018 at SLAF Base Hingurakgoda. The SMEE will engage medical and health professionals in the exchange of current theories, techniques and practices for the effective control and management of potable water sources. This engagement contributes to resilience and mitigates the impacts of future natural disasters, humanitarian crises and potential kidney diseases.
The two Air Forces will conduct a HSO from 13-18 August, 2018 at Alagalla School in Vavuniya with activities including general medicine, pediatrics, physical therapy, dental, optometry and pharmacy services. There will also be various patient education programs facilitated by public health and dental education. The HSO will be conducted by the medical staff of the US Air Force, SLAF and multi-national forces from Nepal, Maldives and Bangladesh with the assistance of the doctors and nurses from the ministry of health, nursing school students and Red Cross society.
PAC ANGEL Sri Lanka is one of four PAC ANGEL humanitarian assistance engagements taking place in 2018. Earlier this year, Pacific Air Forces conducted events in Timor Leste and Vanuatu, with one more engagement scheduled for Vietnam.
(Photos by Maj. Tamara R Fischer-Carter, DVIDS)