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News | Nov. 24, 2013

Team building exercise enhances Joint Task Force-Bravo Medical Element's unit cohesion

By U.S. Army Sgt. Courtney Kreft Joint Task Force-Bravo Medical Element

Joint Task Force- Bravo's Medical Element (MEDEL) members came together for a team building exercise, taking on an obstacle course at the home of Herberth Gaekel, the Soto Cano fire inspector, in Comayagua, Honduras, Nov 21-22.

"These two days were an opportunity to bring members of MEDEL together as a team and give people the opportunity to work together that usually do not get that chance," said U.S. Army Maj. Joshua Brooks, a physical therapist and one of the officers in charge of the event. "The outstanding participation and the effort that everyone put in during these challenges made it a great training day."

The members of MEDEL were split into teams of four to six members and had a chance to complete in several physically demanding obstacles, including a course where they had to don fire fighter gear and overcome obstacles. They also had the opportunity to repel down and then climb back up a steep hill, slide down a culvert and climb back up, rescue a life size mannequin from a vehicle and carry a litter up and down a steep, rocky hill, cross a rope bridge, lower a body through a culvert, and finally recover a body from water.

The most junior ranking individual took charge of the teams for this event and helped all 56 members and ten teams of MEDEL soldiers as well and two Air Force personnel complete the obstacles successfully.

"Everyone had a great attitude and was cheering each other on and was just trying to make the event as fun and cheerful as possible," said U.S. Army Specialist Ariana Braganza, a combat medic and one of the team leaders for the event. "It turned out to be a fantastic day. The planning was wonderful, and it was a great opportunity to work with people that I do not get to usually work with."

MEDEL is made up of 61 Army personnel who have come together from all over the United States and have provided medical care to more than 3,200 Hondurans over the last six months. They provide preventative medical care, wellness check-ups, dental care, preventative dental care, surgical care, and physical therapy through local partnerships in Comayagua and through Medical Readiness Training Exercises (MEDRETEs) which they have been carrying out on a weekly basis.