MOSUL, Iraq - As you walk into the 3rd Bde. Special Troops Bn. Troop Medical Clinic, you are greeted by smiling faces ready and waiting to assist you with all of your medical needs. They have desks, a waiting area complete with a couch and refreshments, and two patient rooms with beds and shelves stocked full of medical supplies.

Although this type of clinic setup seems typical, it's a welcomed gift to for the medics of Special Troops Bn. and the units they support on Forward Operating Base Marez, Iraq.

On April 9, 1st Lt. Michael Delavega, physician's assistant for the Special Troops Bn., took up a pair of bandage scissors and snipped, with true medical precision, through a strip of gauze that hung across the doorway. As the gauze fell, a celebratory applause marked the new clinic's official opening.

The battalion medics were sharing clinic space and time with other medical units prior to their ribbon cutting on April 9. This made it difficult, at best, for them to have a reliable schedule for their Soldiers to follow. It didn't take long for the medics of the Special Troops Bn. to realize the need for their own clinic.

"We saw an immediate need for a [battalion] clinic when we got here," said Sgt. 1st Class Rhoda Gay, noncommissioned officer in charge of the new troop medical clinic. "It was just a matter of finding the space."

Once the battalion identified the space, the medical staff worked for 6 days to get the area suitable to see patients. Incidentally, their first patient showed up for the grand opening eager to have the medics check out his bruised thumb.

As for the medical staff' They are excited to have their own space to offer timely and reliable medical care.

"We now have the space to provide good healthcare to our Soldiers so they don't have to go somewhere else," said Delevega. He also stated that the opening of this clinic makes medical care organic to the 3rd Special Troops Bn. and the units that the battalion supports.

The clinic offers sick call to Soldiers from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. and from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. The staff is also available throughout the day for medical emergencies as necessary.