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News > Airmen provide medical care in Nicaragua
MEDRETE underway for 916th reservists
MANAGUA, NICARAGUA -- Reservists from the 916th Aerospace Medicine Squadron stationed at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C. and volunteer medical providers from several other locations, take refuge in the shade of a KC-135R Stratotanker that transported them here Aug. 6, 2011 to complete a Medical Readiness Exercise, or MEDRETE. The group plans to provide free care to roughly 10,000 indigent citizens during their mission. (USAF photo by Senior Airman Meredith A. H. Thomas, 916 ARW/PA)
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Airmen provide medical care in Nicaragua

Posted 8/23/2011   Updated 8/23/2011 Email story   Print story


by Senior Airman Meredith Thomas
916th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs Office

8/23/2011 - MATAGALPA, Nicaragua -- After months of preparation and coordination with the embassy and local authorities here, about 50 U.S. Airmen put boots on Nicaraguan soil Aug. 6 to take part in a medical readiness exercise.

Known as a MEDRETE, the exercise was organized and staffed primarily by reservists from the 916th Aerospace Medicine Squadron, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C. The purpose of the exercise is to bring humanitarian medical aid to local citizens and to foster positive relations between the United States and Nicaragua while providing hands-on medical training for the Airmen.

After arriving in country, the doctors, dentists, nurses and medical technicians made light work of unloading baggage and supplies. They spent most of the second day inspecting the contents of several shipping containers to ensure they had all the necessary items needed to treat patients.

"That's what today was all about," said Senior Master Sgt. Timothy Moreland, unit planner for the MEDRETE. "We're double-checking our supplies and medications and making sure we're prepared for our first treatment day."

The group will see patients over a10-day period at three different locations in the region around Matagalpa. They anticipate seeing about 1,000 patients per day.

"I'm really excited to see how everything unfolds tomorrow," said Lt. Col. Dawn Moore, mission commander of the Nicaragua MEDRETE and member of the 927th Air Refueling Wing, based at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla. "There's been so much hard work put in and preparation done by the staff of the 916th. Now we're looking forward to 'getting our buckets filled,' as I say, through the gratitude of the Nicaraguan people. I see us doing incredible things on this mission."

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