U.S. Aid from Humanitarian and Civic Assistance, Entire Region, 2010-2015

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Official Descriptions of Aid from Humanitarian and Civic Assistance

American Forces Press Service, 2012

Document: SOUTHCOM, partners prepare to respond to natural disasters

Country: Haiti, Honduras, Western Hemisphere Regional

SOUTHCOM is collaborating with regional partners to increase their ability to prepare for and respond to natural disasters. Fraser described a three-part effort through SOUTHCOM's humanitarian assistance program, disaster preparedness projects and annual humanitarian assistance exercises.

Last year, those efforts included building disaster-response warehouses, wells, potable water systems and emergency operations centers, he said. In fiscal year 2011, SOUTHCOM also conducted 169 projects designed to increase disaster preparedness in Central America, South America and the Caribbean.

In addition, the command supports the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency, a regional effort to increase disaster resilience and response capabilities among the 18 Caribbean nations involved.

A new project SOUTHCOM sponsored in the wake of the Haiti earthquake involves forward-staged kits that provide disaster-response teams with essential services, including potable water, hybrid renewable power, communications and situational awareness.

"Past experience has demonstrated that one of the biggest challenges in providing an effective response is the ability to accurately assess the situation on the ground after communications go down and transportation infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed," Fraser noted in his commander's blog.

Pre-positioned Expeditionary Assistance Kits, or PEAKS, developed in partnership with the National Defense University, "enable decision makers to gain a better understanding of how best to deploy relief efforts," he said.

The kits underwent a joint capability technology demonstration last year at Soto Cono Air Base, Honduras, less than a year after the program's inception, Fraser said. Joint Task Force-Bravo in Honduras, SOUTHCOM's main expeditionary organization, and members of Honduras' military and civil-relief agencies, put the kits to the test under realistic field conditions.

Meanwhile, Fraser emphasized the importance of training to ensure the SOUTHCOM staff is prepared to support USAID, the lead federal agency for international disaster response, if called upon. This includes a joint operations course it hosts, with classes presented by USAID.

U.S. Southern Command

Document: Joint Task Force-Bravo deploys to support damage assessment team in El Salvador

Country: El Salvador

Joint Task Force-Bravo personnel deployed Nov. 11 to El Salvador in response to recent torrential rains that have caused flooding and landslides there.

Thirty-seven Joint Task Force-Bravo personnel, four helicopters (one HH-60, one CH-47 and 2 UH-60s) and a command and control package departed for El Salvador, where they will meet up with a team of U.S. Army engineers to conduct damage assessment.

“Joint Task Force-Bravo will play a critical role by providing air capability to the damage assessment team,” said the mission commander U.S. Army Lt. Col. Curtis Anderson. “With help from our helicopters, the assessment team will be able to get a broad, bird’s-eye-view of the damage done by the recent storm.”

U.S. Southern Command, 2009

Document: MEDRETE provides free medical care to El Salvador villagers

Country: El Salvador

Twenty-three members of Joint Task Force-Bravo worked alongside members of the Salvadoran military and the Salvadoran Ministry of Health to make the MEDRETE a success. Together, the medical team provided care to more than 900 patients during the two-day exercise.

U.S. Southern Command, 2009

Document: Ear, nose and throat specialists provide care to local Guyanese

Country: Guyana

A U.S. Air Force medical team has begun work here at the Georgetown Public Hospital in the ear, nose and throat clinic to assist local doctors in providing specialty medical care to hundreds of Guyanese as part of New Horizons Guyana 2009. The team, from the 59th Medical Wing at Wilford Hall, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, are subspecialists for medical conditions of the ear, nose and throat. Their skills range from pediatrics to sinus surgery to audiology.

The team came equipped with a rhinologist who can provide sinus surgery, a neurotologist for brain and ear conditions, an audiologist for hearing related concerns, an oncologist for cancer of the head and neck, two anesthesiologists and two operating room technicians.

The team will perform approximately 32 surgeries and see more than 500 patients in eight days. The team also brought several hundred pairs of hearing aids to give out.

U.S. Southern Command, 2009

Document: Airmen Begin Dental Care Mission in Guyana

Country: Guyana

More than twenty Airmen brought mobile dental equipment and skills to match, to provide free dental care to local residents in the Georgetown and outlying areas. Residents will be able to receive dental care not normally available or affordable to them such as cleanings, fillings, extractions, root canals and tooth repairs.
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Dental Team One will be in Guyana for two weeks before the next rotation arrives. They have enough dental equipment like chairs, lights, specialized instruments and computers for viewing x-rays and records to provide a large amount of dental services.

U.S. Southern Command, 2009

Document: 'Beyond the Horizon' Humanitarian Mission Underway in Colombia

Country: Colombia

At the invitation of the Colombian government, distinguished visitors from Colombia and the U.S., community leaders and members of the U.S. and Colombian military gathered at an opening ceremony in Cartagena to kick off the humanitarian civic assistance mission Beyond the Horizon (BTH) on July 8.
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Beyond the Horizon is an operation in support of the U.S. Southern Command initiative called Partnership for the Americas Collaboration and Coordination Element (PACCE). It offers opportunities for the U.S. military to work with members of the Colombian military to improve interoperability in order to promote trust and foster willingness for continued collaboration and teamwork.
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During the month-long operation, units under the direction of U.S. Army South will conduct six renovation projects and medical readiness training exercises (MEDRETEs). The MEDRETEs will be conducted at the Omaira Sanchez community center, while the engineering projects will take place at the elementary school, Hogar Infantil La Candelaria.
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In addition to providing humanitarian assistance, BTH also provides valuable opportunities for U.S. medical and engineering personnel to learn from and train with Colombian experts. This experience contributes to the ability of the U.S. military to respond rapidly in support of relief efforts anywhere in the world.

U.S. Southern Command, 2009

Document: Acting U.S. Surgeon General Visits USNS Comfort, Humanitarian Mission in Nicaragua

Country: Nicaragua

Teams aboard the hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) welcomed Rear Adm. Steven K. Galson, currently serving as the acting U.S. Surgeon General, as he came to visit Comfort and observe Continuing Promise 2009 (CP09) July 4 and 5 here.
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The admiral visited each of the medical, dental, veterinary and engineering sites Comfort teams will operate during the mission’s final stop here.
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The Continuing Promise mission has done much more than provide health care to the host nations. It has also provided training to improve responses to a potential natural disaster.

U.S. Southern Command, 2009

Document: Honduras-based U.S. Army Helicopters Supporting Continuing Promise Mission in Nicaragua

Country: Nicaragua

Joint Task Force- Bravo (JTF-B), a U.S. Southern Command task force based at Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras, sent both aircraft and personnel to the hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) in support of Continuing Promise 2009 (CP09).
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CP09 is a four-month humanitarian and civic assistance mission through Latin America and the Caribbean that partners U.S, military, NGO volunteers and host nation personnel to provide free medical, dental, veterinary, educational and engineering services and programs to communities throughout the region.
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“We brought two UH-60L Blackhawks and one HH-60 Blackhawk (MEDEVAC) from Soto Cano Air Base in Honduras,” said Army Capt. Charlie Hall, the officer in charge of the JTF-B contingent on the ship.
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JTF-B is transporting both Comfort personnel and patients, some from remote locations around Corinto, between the ship and the shore each day. This type of support is not new for the unit. Their mission is to support and conduct joint, combined and interagency operations to enhance regional cooperative security.

U.S. Southern Command, 2009

Document: USNS Comfort Wraps Up Humanitarian Mission in El Salvador

Country: El Salvador

The hard work of Comfort’s crew was evident in both the number of patients treated and the quality of care they received. The medical and dental staff triaged more than 19,000 patients and performed 185 surgeries. The veterinary staff treated 3,270 animals and the pharmacy filled 32, 644 prescriptions. The optometry department dispensed 5, 367 pairs of glasses and 2,062 pairs of sunglasses.
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Another important part of the mission was the education and training exchanges between Comfort crewmembers and host nation personnel through both “hands on” sessions and classroom lectures. More than 2,000 students across all disciplines were given classes on topics ranging from tropical diseases in the area, dental health, and more. Salvadoran instructors were also on board for two days to help instruct the students and Comfort staff.

U.S. Southern Command, 2009

Document: U.S. Troops Kick Off New Horizons Guyana, Visit Orphanage

Country: Guyana

The orphanage helps children of all ages who come from broken homes or their parents have passed away from AIDS, or even children whose parents simply don’t have the ability to care for them. Joshua’s House assists children in schooling and growing, and teaches them how to be successful, stable adults in the working communities when they leave the House.

Volunteer opportunities throughout the deployment are being coordinated by the 4th Civil Affairs Group, a Marine Reserve unit out of Washington D.C.

In addition to visiting the orphanage, the task force is scheduled to construct one school and one medical clinic, reconstruct another school and provide medical assistance. The schools will have classrooms and playground equipment and the new clinic will have four examination rooms and a waiting room.

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