Third Army and the Uzbekistan military came together March 22-26 for an information exchange on biomedical equipment repair.

The exchange played a key role in Third Army's mission to stay ready for no-notice deployment while being able to seamlessly work with partner nations on U.S. and NATO humanitarian relief missions.

"The intent of the event was to work with the Uzbekistan Military forces to understand how each country's biomedical repair program works while learning new ways to sustain and extend the lifecycle of assigned medical equipment," said Sgt. 1st Class Drexil Smothers, Third Army/U.S. Army Central Medical Operations Noncommissioned Officer.

The event began with a tour of the Central Clinic Military Hospital in Tashkent where Third Army Soldiers were given briefings on how the Uzbekistan military repairs and maintains medical equipment in order to ensure it is clean, safe and functioning properly.

Smothers explained that Uzbekistan standards are similar to U.S. procedures in the reception, inspection, and calibration of equipment. The differences are that the Uzbekistan military calibrations are conducted quarterly opposed to annual U.S. standards and they use civilian engineers assigned to each directorate to maintain biomedical equipment.

"Due diligence in the Uzbekistan Military forces' quarterly technical inspections and verified equipment calibrations were the major points that impressed me about this mission," Smothers said. "U.S. technical inspection standards are based on an annual cycle, which highlights the Uzbekistan quarterly standard as an outstanding program."

In addition to inspections, the Uzbekistan military was also interested in learning how the U.S. manages staffing requirements and equipment.

The exchange was one of more than 200 theater security cooperation events Third Army has held over the past two years designed to increase interoperability between the more than 20-countries in its area of responsibility.

"The Third Army and Uzbekistan relationship was strengthened through this exchange," Smothers said. "There was a deepening of regional integration and the capability for participation in future U.S. and NATO humanitarian relief missions."