NY Army Guard medical Soldiers heading for Brazilian training mission

By Eric DurrAugust 10, 2023

New York National Guard Soldiers participate in Exercise Parana
New York National Guard 1st Sgt Amanda Eldred, assigned to the 466 Medical Company, Area Support, reviews a medical bag with Brazilian Army Soldiers during a planning conference for Operation Parana held in in Foz do Iguazu, Brazil, on May 3, 2023. The 466th Medical Company will send 15 Soldiers to participate in the Brazilian humanitarian response exercise from August 12 to 18. (Courtesy photo by the Brazilian Army 1st Sgt. Lorencato and 2nd Sgt Yuri) (Photo Credit: Courtesy) VIEW ORIGINAL

QUEENSBURY, NEW YORK )-- Fifteen New York Army National Guard medical personnel based at the state's Queensbury armory will participate in a Brazilian humanitarian response exercise called Operation Parana III in Brazil's Parana State from August 12 to 18.

The Soldiers from the 466th Medical Company (Area Support) will be joined by two public affairs Soldiers and a staff planner from the New York Army National Guard's 53rd Troop Command for the exercise.

As an area support medical company, the 466th provides both routine and emergency medical care to Soldiers.

Soldiers from the battalion have deployed to Iraq in 2006-2007 and to Kuwait in 2021 and 2022.

The Americans will be among 125 foreign soldiers from 15 countries who are participating in this exercise.

The participating militaries are part of the Conference of American Armies, an international military organization made up of Armies from the American continents, which hosts regular conferences and exercises. Brazil's army is currently chairing the conference.

The Brazilian Army has assigned 1,700 troops, 13 patrol boats and four helicopters to the exercise, which will take place in areas across Parana State, according to Capt. Stephanie Fernandez, one of the exercise planners.

According to the Brazilian military, the drill will simulate a variety of natural disasters, to include operating field hospitals, rescuing people from flooding and landslides, and providing emergency medical aid, food and water to survivors.

This is the third year the Brazilian military has conducted this exercise. This year, according to the Brazilian military, they want to integrate foreign assistance into the training exercise.

The New York National Guard medical personnel, along with troops from the other nations, which include Mexico, Spain, Portugal, and Columbia, are part of that effort.

1st Sgt. Amanda Eldred, the top enlisted leader for the 466th, and Fernandez, participated in a logistics planning conference for Operation Parana III in May.

New York has had a training partnership with Brazil since 2019 as part of the National Guard's State Partnership Program. Under this program, state National Guard's are paired in a training and exchange relationship with another nation's military.

Since Brazil and New York entered into this agreement, New York has sent Air National Guard units to participate in an annual military search and rescue exercise called Operation Tapio and sent experts in space operations and cyber security to meet with their Brazilian counterparts.

New York National Guard Soldiers and Airmen have also attended Brazil's jungle warfare school, while Brazilian officers have visited New York Army and Air National Guard facilities.

The New York National Guard also has training and exchange relationships with South Africa and Israel.