U.S. Army Africa and Niger Armed Forces conducted Medical Readiness Training Exercise 14-0 at Issaka Gazobi Maternity in the capital city of Naimey, Oct. 7-18. American military health professionals, to include eleven military doctors, jointly performed surgery, and trained Nigerien medical students in specialties such as surgery, gynecology, anesthesiology, and other key medical fields.

USARAF was responsible for the planning and execution of MEDRETE 14-0 as part of its dedication to positive change in Africa.

"Exercises like this show the Army is more than about kicking down doors," said Capt. Joseph A. Rohman, MEDRETE 14-0 officer-in-charge. "By conducting humanitarian missions, we contradict any rhetoric that terrorist organizations spread regarding the intentions of the Army."

To promote interoperability and improve women's health services in Africa, U.S. military medical personnel partnered with NAF to provide humanitarian benefits ranging from operative women's health services to preventive care measures.

Lt. Col. Brett L. Welden, certified registered nurse anesthetist from Darnall Army Medical Center, said the objective of MEDRETE 14-0 was to establish "a dialogue and [opportunity to share] ideas, healthcare techniques and information between host nation and MEDRETE 14-0 team members."

Exercises such as this one are important because it strengthens the capabilities of both the host nation and the United States. Doctors from U.S. Army get to practice their skills in a new environment, and African doctors get to learn more advanced techniques and procedures. MEDRETEs also work to improve the relations between participating nations.

Rohman said while the exercise may be over, the relationships built and knowledge passed on will endure.

To enhance further training, unused supplies were left behind for health institutions like the National Hospital of Niamey, Hospital Poudriere and the Issaka Gazobi Maternity. In turn, this will help the Nigerien government achieve its strategic plan to significantly improve the living conditions of the Nigerien people.