By Capt. Ji H. Oh, 411th Contracting Support BrigadeAugust 16, 2012
MALANG, Indonesia -- The annual multi-national Medical Readiness Training Exercise Tendon Valiant 2012 began June 18 at the Soepraoen Army Hospital in Malang, Indonesia.
Led by teams from the 18th Medical Command (Deployment Support) and the U.S. Army Pacific Surgeon's office, the annual six-day exercise was hosted by the Indonesian National Armed Forces - Tentara National Indonesia to provide medical and dental assistance to the local residents.
Dentists, nurses, physicians and other health providers from the United States, Indonesia, Australia, Cambodia, Malaysia, Nepal, Philippines, Thailand, Timor Leste, Tonga and Vietnam teamed up to improve military professionalism and cooperation between the Asia Pacific nations.
Considering the magnitude of the exercise, the 411th Contracting Support Brigade's 640th Senior Contingency Contracting Team from Camp Red Cloud, South Korea, was deployed to act as the lead contracting team for the mission.
"The contracting team set up a contracting office and executed the procurement/contracting process from cradle- to-grave in an operational environment," said Capt. Ji H. Oh, 411th CSB contracting management officer.
"Each team member was involved in all aspects of the contracting process including everything from conducting market research to assisting in developing the requirements to creating solicitations, and awarding and modifying contracts to accommodate the medical treatment teams' needs."
Contracting requirements included supporting behavioral health and first responder seminars for medical professionals and health volunteers as well as train-the-trainer courses for Indonesian National Armed Forces medical personnel and community health volunteers.
This was in addition to the door-to-door house calls and a dental program in eight locations throughout Malang which was incorporated into the exercise to assist the more than 38,400 locals with heath services and training.
"We have a very exciting event this year," said Army Col. Dwight Shen, physician, Tripler Army Medical Center, U.S. Army Pacific Region Medical Command, Hawaii.
"It is a new concept introduced to us by Col. (Frank) Newton (deputy surgeon, U.S. Army Pacific). This concept is based on developments in medical engagements by international military forces. It will improve the health care of the local population by emphasizing education and delivering treatment to the patient's home instead of having them come to see us at the clinic."
"The work that you are doing on helping with health issues in your communities is so important," said Rear Adm. Raquel Bono, command surgeon, U.S. Pacific Command, "From looking at infectious disease to looking at the things that are affecting other people in the community to include also behavioral and mental health.
"We know in medicine how important it is for everyone to have health in many domains that includes not only the physical condition but mental, inner spiritual and the social well being," he said. "So, I'm very grateful and I'm also impressed and encourage by the work and participation that all of you are showing here."
In the end, Oh said, the medical team treated more than 10,000 local patients.