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JTF-B service members attend JHOC

By Senior Airman Destinee Sweeney | Joint Task Force-Bravo | Dec. 11, 2018

SOTO CANO AIR BASE, HONDURAS — Joint Task Force-Bravo service members attended a Joint Humanitarian Operations Course led by representatives from the U.S. Agency for International Development, Dec. 3-4.

During the course military personnel learned how USAID assists allies during humanitarian crises and disaster relief as well as the policies that govern foreign assistance and how the armed forces may assist them if called to do so.

“We want to ensure that all military personnel who may someday have a response role—whether at the tactical, operational, or strategic level—understand how the U.S. government delivers humanitarian assistance and disaster response,” said Matthew Lonnquest, USAID JHOC instructor. “Specifically, we want them to walk away with an appreciation of the wide array of civilian actors they may encounter and support during a disaster response mission and an understanding that they will only be called upon as last resort option.”

During the course, students were briefed on operations and engaged in exercises designed to help them better understand humanitarian aid.

1st Lt. Sook Min, a preventative medicine operation officer who attended the JHOC course, said the class provided her with a clear understanding of the role of preventative medicine in support of humanitarian aid and disaster relief operations.

“Overall, JHOC broadened my knowledge of preventive medicine and public health beyond what I learned from civilian education,” said Min, who is also a second year Masters of Public Health student at the University of California Los Angeles.

JTF-Bravo aims to provide security and stability to the Southern Command’s area of responsibility through a multitude of means, one of these ways is through supporting U.S. allies during time of need. The JHOC course allows U.S. service members to gain a better understanding of their response role in humanitarian crisis and disaster response while also expanding their comprehension of USAID.