Wednesday September 8, 2010
What is it?
MEDFLAG 10 is a joint medical exercise focused on humanitarian assistance. The goal of the exercise is to enhance U.S. and Congolese capabilities to work together and to increase the combined readiness of their medical forces to respond to humanitarian emergencies. MEDFLAG is an annual medical exercise initiated in 1987 that brings together U.S. military personnel with counterparts from militaries throughout Africa.
What has the Army done?
In partnership with the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC), U.S. Army Africa will lead MEDFLAG 10 in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in September. Headquartered in Vicenza, Italy, U.S. Army Africa is the Army service component to the U.S Africa Command, the U.S. regional command that oversees and coordinates U.S. military activities in Africa.
MEDFLAG 10 is the latest in a series of exercises involving U.S. military forces and partner militaries in Africa with the aim to establish and develop military interoperability, regional relationships, synchronization of effort and capacity-building.
What will the Army do?
At the direction of U.S. Africa Command and with support from the U.S. Embassy in Kinshasa, U.S. Army Africa will be the lead agency for approximately 100 U.S. active duty, National Guard and Reserve personnel from the Army, Air Force, Marines and the Navy participating in the exercise. The exercise will improve the readiness of both countries' medical personnel and will consist of classroom instruction, a mass-casualty exercise, and civic assistance activities.
U.S. and DRC military personnel will work together to provide medical and dental assistance to the Congolese people during MEDFLAG 10, building and enhancing existing capabilities. Medical care will include direct care by a doctor or dentist, including general practice, women's health and pharmacy services. Participants will also provide classes on general health, nutrition, and hygiene.
U.S. Army Africa is committed to working with militaries in Africa to increase capacity, strengthen relationships, and promote long-term security and stability.
Why is this important to the Army?
MEDFLAG is a key program in the United States' efforts to partner with the Government of the DRC to develop a professional Congolese military that is accountable to civilian authority and provides meaningful stability and security to the people of the DRC. The increased capacity of medical personnel, including first responders, is an important component of this professionalization and development. U.S. Army Africa's increased cooperation with land force partners in Africa enhances mutual understanding and demonstrates the U.S. Army's commitment to strengthening our relationships across the continent.
Related article: MEDFLAG 10 gets under way in Congo
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