• UMBUTFO, Swaziland - Umbutfo Swaziland Defence Force's (USDF) Brig. Gen. T.G. Dlamini and Major General Timothy Simelane are greeted by U.S. Embassy Charge d' Affairs Sarah Morrison prior to the opening ceremony of a medical exercise at the USDF headquarters in Manzini, Swaziland, August 3, 2009. MEDFLAG is a joint and combined military exercise led by U.S. Army Africa in support of U.S. Africa Command to improve medical disaster preparedness and humanitarian assistance management.

    U.S. Africa Command opens MEDFLAG 09 in Swaziland

    UMBUTFO, Swaziland - Umbutfo Swaziland Defence Force's (USDF) Brig. Gen. T.G. Dlamini and Major General Timothy Simelane are greeted by U.S. Embassy Charge d' Affairs Sarah Morrison prior to the opening ceremony of a medical exercise at the USDF...

  • UMBUTFO, Swaziland - Umbutfo Swaziland Defence Force (USDF) Lt. Col. Moses Swane speaks at the opening ceremony for a medical exercise at the USDF headquarters in Manzini, Swaziland, August 3, 2009. Swane is the co-director for MEDFLAG, a joint and combined military exercise led by U.S. Army Africa in support of U.S. Africa Command to improve medical disaster preparedness and humanitarian assistance management.

    U.S. Africa Command opens MEDFLAG 09 in Swaziland

    UMBUTFO, Swaziland - Umbutfo Swaziland Defence Force (USDF) Lt. Col. Moses Swane speaks at the opening ceremony for a medical exercise at the USDF headquarters in Manzini, Swaziland, August 3, 2009. Swane is the co-director for MEDFLAG, a joint and...

  • UMBUTFO, Swaziland - U.S. and Umbutfo Swaziland Defence Force (USDF) service members and U.S. Embassy leaders laugh at comments by the master of ceremonies during the opening ceremony for a medical exercise at the USDF headquarters in Manzini, Swaziland, August 3, 2009. MEDFLAG is a joint and combined military exercise led by U.S. Army Africa in support of U.S. Africa Command to improve medical disaster preparedness and humanitarian assistance management.

    U.S. Africa Command opens MEDFLAG 09 in Swaziland

    UMBUTFO, Swaziland - U.S. and Umbutfo Swaziland Defence Force (USDF) service members and U.S. Embassy leaders laugh at comments by the master of ceremonies during the opening ceremony for a medical exercise at the USDF headquarters in Manzini...

  • UMBUTFO, Swaziland - Swaziland's Principle Secretary Ministry of Defence Dr. John Kunene speaks during MEDFLAG 09 exercise's opening ceremony at the Umbutfo Swaziland Defence Force (USDF) headquarters in Manzini, Swaziland, August 3, 2009. MEDFLAG is a joint and combined military exercise led by U.S. Army Africa in support of U.S. Africa Command to improve medical disaster preparedness and humanitarian assistance management.

    U.S. Africa Command opens MEDFLAG 09 in Swaziland

    UMBUTFO, Swaziland - Swaziland's Principle Secretary Ministry of Defence Dr. John Kunene speaks during MEDFLAG 09 exercise's opening ceremony at the Umbutfo Swaziland Defence Force (USDF) headquarters in Manzini, Swaziland, August 3, 2009. MEDFLAG is a...

  • UMBUTFO, Swaziland - Air Force Master Sgt. Victoria Ashley-Manning and Maj. Kevin Hachmeister, members of the 920th Aeromedical Staging Squadron, Patrick Air Force Base, Florida, talk with soldiers from the Umbutfo Swaziland Defence Force (USDF) during a medical exercise at the USDF Headquarters in Manzini, Swaziland, August 3, 2009. MEDFLAG is a joint and combined military exercise led by U.S. Army Africa in support of U.S. Africa Command to improve medical disaster preparedness and humanitarian assistance management.

    U.S. Africa Command opens MEDFLAG 09 in Swaziland

    UMBUTFO, Swaziland - Air Force Master Sgt. Victoria Ashley-Manning and Maj. Kevin Hachmeister, members of the 920th Aeromedical Staging Squadron, Patrick Air Force Base, Florida, talk with soldiers from the Umbutfo Swaziland Defence Force (USDF) during...

MANZINI, Swaziland (Aug. 5, 2009) -- In partnership with the Umbutfo Swaziland Defence Force (USDF), U.S. Africa Command and U.S. Army Africa kicked off a two-week medical exercise with an opening ceremony at USDF headquarters in Swaziland, Monday.

The USDF co-director Lt. Col. Moses Zwane thanked everyone for attending the ceremony and extended a warm welcome to the U.S. servicemembers participating in the exercise.

"I am very pleased to be one of the MEDFLAG co-directors," Zwane said. "This exercise is the first of its kind in our kingdom."

MEDFLAG is a joint and combined military exercise led by U.S. Army Africa in support of U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) to improve medical disaster preparedness and humanitarian assistance management.

The exercise will consist of three phases: classroom training; a mass casualty exercise; and humanitarian and civic assistance events, to include medical, dental and veterinary assistance to the people of Swaziland.

"We will be visiting a village in each of the four provinces in the Kingdom of Swaziland," said MEDFLAG co-director Army Lt. Col. Michael Money. "By partnering with the Department of Health here, who will accompany us out to the villages, we hope to improve the quality of life. The Swazi military has been very accommodating and by the end of the exercise, we should be able to go home knowing we have made a difference in the lives of those we touched."

The U.S. and Swazi medical teams will travel to the Hhohho Village in the Zinyane province, Manzini Village in the Mafutseni province, Lubombo Village in the Maloma province and Shiselweni Village in the Mkhwakhweni province.

The U.S. Embassy Charge d' Affairs Sarah Morrison said that a year's worth of planning has gone into the exercise and the next two weeks will be pivotal in the relationship between the United States and Swaziland.

"I am confident that after these two weeks, we look forward to several more of these engagements between our two militaries," Morrison said. "I know we will all be flexible and by the end of the exercise we will have formed bonds of friendship, I am sure will last a lifetime."

Page last updated Thu August 6th, 2009 at 01:44