NEWS | July 15, 2013

JTF-B receives award for helping Honduras reach milestone

By Maj Angelic Dolan Joint Task Force-Brave Public Affairs Office

Joint Task Force -Bravo Commander, Col. Thomas Boccardi accepted an appreciation award from the Honduran Armed Forces (HOAF), during an award ceremony in Tegucigalpa for providing Medical Readiness Training Exercises, which aided its one-million Honduran citizen, July 13.

The award was presented by Honduran First Presidential Designate Maria Antonieta Guillen de Borgran(Honduran equivalent to the U.S. vice president) and the Honorable Lisa Kubiske, U.S. ambassador to Honduras, thanked JTF-Bravo during the ceremony for their continuous support in providing medical care and transportation support to remote areas of Honduras.

"Today we celebrate the milestone of serving one-million Honduran patient," said Kubiske. "It is an astonishing commitment and effort by both countries to help the communities in need of medical assistance."

"The medical services provided to the citizens of Honduras results in them getting the medical care they need to live healthier lives, which results in children being able to grow up healthy and additionally provides the adults the ability to support their families," Kubiske added. (Statements were translated into English.)

The HOAF relies on support provided by other governmental, non-governmental, and private entities to assist in remote regions. JTF-Bravo has partnered with Honduras to provide medical personnel, preventative care, women's health services, dental services and vaccinations.

"We provide an average of nine annual Medical Readiness Training Exercises and Medical Surgical Teams," said Boccardi. "This also includes weekly Medical Surgical Team missions to Santa Teresa Regional Hospital in Comayagua and monthly trips to the Hospital Escuela in Tegucigalpa. To know our support resulted in HOAF efforts to reach its one-million patient is a tremendous commitment and honor. It's also a testament to JTF-Bravo's commitment to our partner nation."

"While these MEDRETEs do build a strong partnership between our governments, it also gives us the opportunity to exercise our expeditionary medical and mission capabilities in preparation for future disaster relief events, and each of these events make a difference in someone's life, to include our JTF-B service members." Boccardi added.

JTF-Bravo conducts MEDRETEs throughout Central America each year in support of U.S. Southern Command's humanitarian assistance and disaster relief programs. In coordination with the Offices of Security Cooperation and partner nation Department of Health Officials in all seven Central American countries, JTF- Bravo has treated more than 341,500 medical patients, 67,400 dental patients and 14, 300 surgical patients over the past 20 years.