Americans, Chadians kick off Medical Readiness Training Exercise 17-3 N'DJAMENA, Chad - Chadian and American military medical professionals kicked off Medical Readiness Training Exercise 17-3 with an informal ceremony at the Military Teaching Hospital in N'Djamena, Chad, May 2.After introductions and a brief guided tour of the facility, the service members from the partner nations gathered into groups broken down by specialties."We are here to expand not only our medical cooperation, but also the military cooperation between our two countries," said Chadian Maj. Gen. Beure Mbaindonadji, director of Health and Ministry of Defense.The exercise provides a real-world environment where service members can hone their medical skills under austere conditions while also learning different protocols from their counterparts. It is a combined effort between the Chadian government, U.S. Army Africa, and the 3rd Medical Command Deployment Support in Forest Park, Ga. This is the fourth U.S. Army Africa-led MEDRETE in Chad.Through the course of the 16-day exercise, the combined team members will collaborate with their Chadian counterparts within various specialties."For those that haven't deployed, this environment provides the opportunity for them to be better prepared," said Maj. Christopher Sims, a nurse anesthetist. "It shows you how much can be done with the resources and equipment available, just like expected of us when we deploy."This is the third this year, in an annual series, of medical readiness training exercises that U.S. Army Africa facilitates within a variety of countries on the African continent, providing an opportunity for the partnered militaries to train shoulder to shoulder in an alternatively resourced environment.For updates on this important event, continue to monitor the U.S. Army Africa website and social media sites.For more information, contact the USARAF public affairs office at usarmy.vicenza.usaraf.mbx.usaraf-pao@mail.mil or call +39-331-648-8586.