NEWS | Feb. 21, 2014

Joint Task Force-Bravo, Honduran leaders visit MEDRETE site

By U.S. Air Force Capt. Zach Anderson Joint Task Force-Bravo Public Affairs

Several key leaders from Joint Task Force-Bravo met with Honduran military and civic leaders at the site of an ongoing Medical Readiness and Training Exercise (MEDRETE) being conducted in the town of Caoba, Department of Cortes, Honduras, Feb. 20.

Task Force members met with Honduran Col. Adolfo Puerto, Chief of Staff of the Honduran 105th Infantry Brigade, Honduran Army Sgt. Maj. Elvin Maldonado, Honduran Navy Commander Juan De Jesus, Dr. Angel Flores, Director of the Puerto Cortes Hospital, and Maria Luisa Martell de Matute, Vice-Mayor of Puerto Cortez.

Members of Joint Task Force-Bravo's Medical Element (MEDEL) provided a tour of the MEDRETE, where U.S. and Honduran medical professionals were providing medical care to more than 500 Honduran citizens.

Martell de Matute said the assistance from Joint Task Force-Bravo is greatly appreciated.

"I am very happy to have you here and grateful for the support you have provided," she said. "We welcome this assistance because at this time, our budget is so small and we need the help. It is great to see how this is a joint effort between the U.S. and Honduran military and the non-governmental organizations that are helping out as well."

During the tour of the MEDRETE site, the leaders were able to observe U.S. and Honduran medical professionals working side by side to provide medical care to those in need.

"One of the best things to see here is how the Hondurans and the Americans are working together to help," said De Jesus. "It's good to see how we can work together to help others and learn from each other."

Throughout the day, Task Force and Honduran leaders engaged in discussions 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.

"These types of operations and engagements help solidify the relationship between the United States and the government of Honduras," said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Frank Melgarejo, Joint Task Force-Bravo Director of Operations. "It truly lends itself to building upon the successful relationship we've enjoyed with Honduras for more than 30 years and will help support future efforts to bring security and stability to the region."