World

June 18, 2012

U.S., Vietnamese militaries collaborate on clinic restoration

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by SrA. Lauren Main
Nghe An Province, Vietnam

TSgt. Greg Brown shovels sand to level the grounds of the Xuan Lam Medical Clinic in Nghe An Province, Vietnam on June 12, 2012. Brown is participating in Operation Pacific Angel-Vietnam 12, an eight-day humanitarian assistance operation. The PACANGEL civil engineer team has been working to restore the clinic alongside members of the Vietnamese military, local contractors and residents of a nearby village. Operation Pacific Angel gives the U.S. an opportunity to support the efforts of partner nations in the Pacific region by providing medical, dental, optometry and engineering assistance to the host nation citizens. Brown is a plumber with the 647th Civil Engineering Squadron at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii.

Airmen and soldiers from around the Pacific have worked to restore the Xuan Lam Medical Clinic in Nghe An Province, Vietnam, since the start of Operation Pacific Angel 12 beginning June 10.

The restoration is one part of PACANGEL-Vietnam 12, an eight-day engagement designed to strengthen partnerships between Pacific host nation countries and the U.S.

Airmen from the 647th Civil Engineering Squadron at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, work to restore the Xuan Lam Medical Clinic during Pacific Angel-Vietnam 12 in Nghe An Province, Vietnam on June 12, 2012. The restoration project is part of an eight-day humanitarian assistance operation designed to help improve the lives of Vietnamese in the province.

Since the beginning of the project, U.S. engineers have been working tirelessly alongside members of the Vietnamese military and local contractors. Also, residents of the district contribute by lending a helping-hand.

Despite the sweltering heat and humidity, the team kept pace.

“We’re on schedule, but there’s a lot of finishing touches to be made,” said MSgt. Brad Robison, a PACANGEL-Vietnam 12 engineering planner assigned to the 647th Civil Engineering Squadron at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. “We want to make sure we leave them (residents of Nam Dam district) with the best possible end result.”

To date, the team installed a new roof, laid tile for all five examining rooms and completed a portion of the exterior cosmetic painting. Now, the team is working on leveling the grounds of the clinic to create a slope that slants away from the facility to ensure rainwater and waste runs away from the structure.

Despite the staunch deadlines and heat, the team spent the afternoon working side-by-side with the Vietnamese military, contractors and local residents to lay the concrete in front of the clinic.

“It’s a community effort,” said Robison. “It’s not just Vietnamese military and contractors (we’re) supporting, it’s the people that are going to use this clinic. It’s really cool; you can see (the community) takes pride in the effort, and they’re glad to help.”

Officially in its fifth year, Pacific Angel is a joint humanitarian assistance engagement led by the 13th Air Force. The engagement supports U.S. Pacific Command’s capacity-building efforts by partnering with other governments, non-governmental agencies and militaries in the Asia-Pacific region to provide medical, dental, optometry and engineering assistance to their citizens.

Previous PACANGEL engagements were conducted in Quang Tri Province, Vietnam, in September 2009 and Can Tho, Vietnam, in May 2010.

An airman (right) participates in Pacific Angel-Vietnam in Nghe An Province, Vietnam, while restoring the Xuan Lam Medical Clinic alongside, Vietnam People’s Armed Forces members June 10, 2012. Officially in its fifth year, PACANGEL is a joint and combined humanitarian assistance mission led by 13th Air Force.

Vietnamese contractors work side-by-side with their U.S. Air Force counterparts to mix and lay cement while restoring the Xuan Lam Medical Clinic in Nghe An Province, Vietnam, during Pacific Angel on June 14, 2012. The eight-day engagement included health services outreach, as well as engineering programs and subject-matter expert exchanges between the U.S. and Vietnam.




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