Soldiers of the 807th Medical Deployment Support Command, Fort Douglas, Utah, joined with their Malian medical defense forces counterparts for the start of Atlas Accord12 in Mopti, Mali, February 7-15, 2012.
This annual-joint-aerial-delivery exercise, hosted by U.S. Army Africa, brings together U.S. Army personnel with militaries in Africa to enhance air drop capabilities and ensure effective delivery of military resupply materials and humanitarian aid.
Doctors and medics from both militaries are seizing this unique opportunity to expand on training.
While in Mali, 807th medics were asked by Malian Army Colonel Youssouf Treore, commander of the medical detachment in Mopti, to aid Malian medical personnel in the use of supplies they received from U.S. forces several years ago.
Treore said the supplies are very practical, easy to use, and helpful to the Malian Medical Defense Forces.
« We are training with the Malian medical personnel on different types of equipment that include cervical braces, finger splints, ring cutters, pressure bandages, back boards and more, » said Major Dean A. Nelson, a family physician assigned to the 328th CSH, 807th MDSC.
« These Malian soldiers and medical personnel have on-the-job training, so it is very rewarding to show them and see their excitement when we demonstrate the proper use of the equipment, » said Sergeant La Tonia R. Luna, an 807th MDSC Army healthcare specialist.
American medical personnel gained experience from working with the Malians.
« I learned they do a lot with a little. I don’t know how they handle trauma situations but, it’s impressive how they do it, » said Staff Sergeant Anthony P. Baca, an 807th MDSC Army healthcare specialist.
« Training will help our medics become better since they are teaching the Malians through interpreters and have to move slowly and ensure they are understood; it gives them a better understanding of the training they are providing, » said Lieutenant Colonel David H. Moikeha, an emergency physician, assigned to the 94th Combat Support Hospital, 807th MDSC.
Baca said he is impressed with the willingness to learn of both militaries. Luna agreed.
« The Malians asked very good questions and were curious about the use of the equipment and now they know how to use it to help their patients, » Luna said.
« Helping patients recover is important to the people, » Treore said.
« We receive so much trauma from highway accidents, military and civilian, » he said. « The equipment we have will help us care for the trauma patients we receive at our level. »
Treore added he was grateful for the experience. « I appreciate the cooperation with the U.S. Army, » he said. It (the training) is very practical and it will help us face all of our needs. »
By Sergeant Mark A. Henderson
128th MPAD, Utah Army National Guard