SOTO CANO AIR BASE, Honduras, –
Key leaders from Joint Task Force-Bravo met with Honduran civic and military leaders at the Mobile Surgical Team's site of a Medical Readiness and Training Exercise (MEDRETE) being conducted in the town of Santa Rosa de Copan, Department of Copan, Honduras, May 7, 2014.
Task Force members met with Juan Carlos Lagos Fuentes, governor of Copán; Anibal Erazo Alvarado, mayor of Santa Rosa de Copán; Javier Adalid Lopez Alvarado, mayor of Cucuyagua, Copan; Serfafin Antonio Tabora, Mayor of La Union, Copan; Honduran Army Col. Milton Leonel Amaya Coello, commander of the 120th Infantry Brigade; Honduran Army Col. Gilberto Molina Argueta, commander of the 7th Infantry Battalion; Honduran Army Col. Jose Santos Colindres, commander of the 12th Infantry Battalion; Valeska Cardona, Honduran Ministry of Health representative for the Department of Copan; and Juan Carlos Cardona, director of the Santa Rosa Regional Hospital in Copan.
Members of Joint Task Force-Bravo's Mobile Surgical Team (MST) provided a tour of the mobile operating room, where U.S. and Honduran medical professionals were working side-by-side conducting gall bladder and hernia repair surgeries for eight local citizens. The mobile operating room is contained within a Deployable Rapid Assembly Shelter (DRASH) tent that was assembled in the hospital parking lot to provide the MST a feel for what it would be like to operate in a deployed situation. The DRASH tent kit includes a generator and air conditioning unit to provide the team with a suitable operating room environment.
Alvarado said the assistance from Joint Task Force-Bravo has a positive effect on the health community in Santa Rosa de Copan.
"You have come to better the health in the western part of the country," he said. "I want to thank the U. S. Army and the U.S. Embassy for this (Mobile Surgical Team) from the American Army coming to Santa Rosa de Copan."
The Task Force and Honduran leaders engaged in discussions over lunch on how to build on the strong relationship between the U.S. and Honduras, and how Joint Task Force-Bravo can continue to partner with Honduras in order to provide assistance to those in need.
"Joint Task Force-Bravo is honored to partner with the Honduran Ministry of Health, local civic leaders and the Honduran military to bring medical care to the Copan region of Honduras," said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. William Wade, Joint Task Force-Bravo deputy commander. "Today we were able to establish meaningful dialogue on our partner capacity building and determine possible options for future JTF-Bravo medical missions to the Copan district."