NEWS | Feb. 5, 2010

MEDEL Airmen provide medical care to Haitians

By Staff Sgt. Bryan Franks Joint Task Force-Bravo Public Affairs

Seventeen Air Force members from Joint Task Force-Bravo's Medical Element are at the front lines of the humanitarian assistance mission in Haiti, having provided medical care to more than two thousand people since deploying there Jan. 17 in support of Operation Unified Response.

The 17 AF personnel are part of a 23 member team that has provided emergency medical treatment to 2,322 patients, conducted 58 surgeries and medically evacuated 395.

"This mission is a testament to the dedication of our MEDEL personnel," said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Brian Severns, JTF-Bravo Deputy Commander. "I am proud of them for tackling the many challenges they face in Haiti and using their medical skills to help in the disaster relief efforts."

These JTF-Bravo Airmen now working side by side with doctors, medical professionals and volunteers from around the world are no strangers to working in a joint environment.

"While assigned to JTF-Bravo, our team collaborates with Central American medical professionals on a permanent basis in planning and executing medical humanitarian missions for the benefit of the most needed population in remote areas as identified by partner nation officials", said U.S. Air Force Maj. Patricia Jaeckel, MEDEL Operations Officer.

Providing care to masses of patients in austere environments is nothing new to JTF-Bravo's medical personnel. MEDEL members regularly participate in medical readiness and training exercises throughout Central America, providing medical care to hundreds of patients daily in rural Central America villages.

With the continuation of Operation Unified Response, the Airmen of JTF-Bravo's MEDEL are ready to stay in Haiti for as long as they are needed.