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New Horizons ophthalmology teams give 262 Guyanese the gift of sight

U.S. service members perform postoperative checks on the last ophthalmology center patient during New Horizons exercise 2019 at Port Mourant, Guyana, May 16, 2019.

U.S. service members perform postoperative checks on the last ophthalmology center patient during New Horizons exercise 2019 at Port Mourant, Guyana, May 16, 2019. The ophthalmology clinic was established to provide aid to the Guyanese population by screening and selecting patients to receive cataract surgery in support of New Horizons 2019. The New Horizons exercise 2019 provides U.S. military members an opportunity to train for an overseas deployment and the logistical requirements it entails. The exercise promotes bilateral cooperation by providing opportunities for U.S. and partner nation military engineers, medical personnel and support staff to work and train side by side.(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Derek Seifert)

Dr. Devendra Radhy, Port Mourant doctor in charge, speaks during the closing ceremony of the ophthalmology center during New Horizons exercise 2019 at Port Mourant, Guyana, May 16, 2019. The ophthalmology clinic was established to provide aid to the Guyanese population by screening and selecting patients to receive cataract surgery in support of New Horizons 2019. The New Horizons exercise 2019 provides U.S. military members an opportunity to train for an overseas deployment and the logistical requirements it entails. The exercise promotes bilateral cooperation by providing opportunities for U.S. and partner nation military engineers, medical personnel and support staff to work and train side by side.(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Derek Seifert)

Dr. Devendra Radhy, Port Mourant doctor in charge, speaks during the closing ceremony of the ophthalmology center during New Horizons exercise 2019 at Port Mourant, Guyana, May 16, 2019. The ophthalmology clinic was established to provide aid to the Guyanese population by screening and selecting patients to receive cataract surgery in support of New Horizons 2019. The New Horizons exercise 2019 provides U.S. military members an opportunity to train for an overseas deployment and the logistical requirements it entails. The exercise promotes bilateral cooperation by providing opportunities for U.S. and partner nation military engineers, medical personnel and support staff to work and train side by side.(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Derek Seifert)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Sean McNamara, Air Force Office of the Surgeon General, Falls Church, Virginia, presents Dr. Devendra Radhy, Port Mourant Hospital doctor in charge, with a certificate of appreciation during the closing ceremony of the ophthalmology center during New Horizons exercise 2019 at Port Mourant, Guyana, May 16, 2019. The ophthalmology clinic was established to provide aid to the Guyanese population by screening and selecting patients to receive cataract surgery in support of New Horizons 2019. The New Horizons exercise 2019 provides U.S. military members an opportunity to train for an overseas deployment and the logistical requirements it entails. The exercise promotes bilateral cooperation by providing opportunities for U.S. and partner nation military engineers, medical personnel and support staff to work and train side by side.(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Derek Seifert)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Sean McNamara, Air Force Office of the Surgeon General, Falls Church, Virginia, presents Dr. Devendra Radhy, Port Mourant Hospital doctor in charge, with a certificate of appreciation during the closing ceremony of the ophthalmology center during New Horizons exercise 2019 at Port Mourant, Guyana, May 16, 2019. The ophthalmology clinic was established to provide aid to the Guyanese population by screening and selecting patients to receive cataract surgery in support of New Horizons 2019. The New Horizons exercise 2019 provides U.S. military members an opportunity to train for an overseas deployment and the logistical requirements it entails. The exercise promotes bilateral cooperation by providing opportunities for U.S. and partner nation military engineers, medical personnel and support staff to work and train side by side.(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Derek Seifert)

U.S. service members observe a cataract surgery during New Horizons exercise 2019 at Port Mourant, Guyana, May 6, 2019.

U.S. service members observe a cataract surgery during New Horizons exercise 2019 at Port Mourant, Guyana, May 6, 2019. The ophthalmology clinic was established to provide aid to the Guyanese population by screening and selecting patients to receive cataract surgery in support of New Horizons 2019. The New Horizons exercise 2019 provides U.S. military members an opportunity to train for an overseas deployment and the logistical requirements it entails. The exercise promotes bilateral cooperation by providing opportunities for U.S. and partner nation military engineers, medical personnel and support staff to work and train side by side.(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Derek Seifert)

U.S. Air Force Maj. Andrew Lewis, ophthalmologist from Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, guides a Guyanese patient to the next examine station during New Horizons 2019, Port Mourant, Guyana, May 3, 2019.

U.S. Air Force Maj. Andrew Lewis, ophthalmologist from Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, guides a Guyanese patient to the next examine station during New Horizons 2019, Port Mourant, Guyana, May 3, 2019. The ophthalmology clinic was established to provide aid to the Guyanese population by screening and selecting patients to receive cataract surgery. The New Horizons exercise 2019 provides U.S. military members an opportunity to train for an overseas deployment and the logistical requirements it entails. The exercise promotes bilateral cooperation by providing opportunities for U.S. and partner nation military engineers, medical personnel and support staff to work and train side by side. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Derek Seifert)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. James Richard Townley, ophthalmologist from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, talks with a patient during the New Horizons exercise 2019 at Port Mourant, Guyana, May 3, 2019.

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. James Richard Townley, ophthalmologist from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, talks with a patient during the New Horizons exercise 2019 at Port Mourant, Guyana, May 3, 2019. The ophthalmology clinic was established to provide aid to the Guyanese population by screening and selecting patients to receive cataract surgery. The New Horizons exercise 2019 provides U.S. military members an opportunity to train for an overseas deployment and the logistical requirements it entails. The exercise promotes bilateral cooperation by providing opportunities for U.S. and partner nation military engineers, medical personnel and support staff to work and train side by side. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Derek Seifert/released)

PORT MOURANT, Guyana -- U.S. military ophthalmology teams deployed in support of New Horizons training exercise 2019 and partnered with Guyanese doctors at the Port Mourant Hospital in Port Mourant, Guyana, May 6-16, 2019.

The ophthalmology center at the Port Mourant Hospital was established to provide aid to the Guyanese population by screening and selecting patients to receive cataract and pterygium surgery in support of NH19.

Many of the Guyanese patients have been waiting years to receive either cataract or pterygium surgery to regain their vision.

“Normally, we see over 1,500 patients a month and we have a backlog of over 800 patients who have been waiting for surgery, some over five years,” said Dr. Devendra Radhy, Port Mourant Hospital doctor in charge. “Unfortunately, the ophthalmology clinic was unable to perform cataract surgeries until last week when we had a team partnered with a Guyana doctor who was able to do 22 surgeries. That was a kick start and hopefully we can continue this flow and get through our backlog.”

According to Rahdy, cataract and pterygium surgery can cost between $80,000 to $100,000 Guyanese dollars, which is close to $500 U.S. dollars. Many of the patients range between the ages of 50 to 80 and are poor, with an average annual household income of less than $4,000 U.S. dollars.

With the support of the U.S. military and NH19, Radhy has seen a dramatic change in his patients.

“Having the Americans here at this moment changes everything in the sense of how people look at the ophthalmology center,” said Radhy. “They can readily say that we are providing the service they have been waiting for a long time for. With this, you can see a different look in the patients, it’s more positive. Even from last Monday, when we started calling the patients, you see more smiles, laughing and joy knowing they will have the surgery done.”

This exercise provides U.S. military members an opportunity to train for an overseas deployment. It promotes bilateral cooperation by providing opportunities for U.S. and partner nation military engineers, medical personnel and support staff to work and train side by side.

“Our primary purpose is to train our [U.S. service members] on combat relevant eye care,” said U.S. Army Col. Darrel Carlton, regional health command central consultant for ophthalmology from Brooke Army Medical Center, Texas. “Our component of the exercise is the ophthalmology side where we will be conducting cataract and pterygium surgeries, while at the same time training our Airmen and Soldiers to take care of cataracts because the techniques we use in this setting are similar to what we can expect to see in places like Iraq and Syria without seeing the trauma.”

The ophthalmology component of New Horizons exercise 2019 came to an end on May 16, 2019 with a closing ceremony and remarks from a Guyanese patient.

“I want to say that you have done an excellent job for us Guyanese, whichever part of Guyana they came from looking for a service that they badly in need of,” said Joyce Marks, Guyanese patient. “I want to let you know, on behalf of all the Guyanese that you attended to, that we are very, very, very grateful for that service. And I ask that God continues to bless you all with the gift and knowledge that he has imparted in all of you for the benefit of not only yourself, but for all of mankind that comes in contact with you.”

Another team of U.S. military medical professionals will replace the ophthalmology team to conduct a two week surgical readiness training exercise at a women’s health clinic.

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🇺🇸🇨🇱This week 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) hosted Airmen to Airmen talks between the United States Air Force and the Fuerza Aérea De Chile. Chilean Air Force Major General Francisco Torres led the Chilean delegation in planning future multinational events between the two Air Forces.
🇺🇸🇬🇾 United States Air Force Staff Sargent Brandon Tucker was the master artist behind the designs for 5 New Horizons ceremonial keys! The keys are given during the handover of each completed project. Four small keys for each construction site and a 10 foot tall key for the handover of our camp facilities.
#EnduringPromise 🇺🇸🇬🇾U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Army engineers have finished 4 construction projects in Guyana as part of the New Horizons Training Exercise 2019. Each year New Horizons Training Exercise is conducted in a different Partner Nation, this is the 3rd time it's been held in Guyana.
#DYK Since 2012, Colombian forces and the @SCGuard have worked and trained together as part of the The National Guard’s State Partnership Program. Watch this video on the South Carolina Air National Guard training and flying with the Fuerza Aérea Colombiana during exercise Relampago 4 earlier this month. #EnduringPromise
🇺🇸🇭🇳Great insight into the role of Joint Task Force-Bravo, stationed at the Honduran Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras. The U.S. military task force provides medical assistance and disaster response in the region while supporting our Central American partners.
#ICYMI last week New Horizons team gathered with the village of Yarrowkabra and Amelia's Ward, Linden to celebrate the completion and handover ceremonies for two community centers.
Another great Subject Matter Expert Exchange between the United States Air Force and the Fuerza Aérea De Chile! This is the second Helicopter H-60 model information exchange between the two Air Forces this year! 🇨🇱🇺🇸#PromesaDuradera #EnduringPromise U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM)
🇺🇸🇨🇱The Chilean Air Force Fuerza Aérea De Chile and the United States Air Force is conducting a helicopter Subject Matter Expert Exchange this week at the 55th Rescue Squadron Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. This is the second helicopter SMEE between the two Air Forces this year, focusing on the Chilean H-60 and the U.S. HH-60. #PromesaDuradera #EnduringPromise
The F-AIR COLOMBIA air show last month was a great example of the successful partnership between the United States Air Force and the Fuerza Aérea Colombiana. Check out our video highlighting this crucial partnership! #EnduringPromise #PromesaDuradera U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) Embajada de los Estados Unidos Colombia South Carolina Air National Guard Air Force Thunderbirds
Hear firsthand the changes the #USNSComfort and crew are providing for those in need as a patient reflects on her experience aboard the U.S. Navy hospital ship after receiving cataract surgery. #EnduringPromise #PromesaDuradera
Some amazing humanitarian work still underway at the New Horizons Training Exercise! #EnduringPromise #PromesaDuradera
A construction update from our team at New Horizons Training Exercise! #EnduringPromise #PromesaDuradera
Admiral Craig Faller, commander of U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), recently paid a visit to the #USNSComfort in Costa Rica, which is on a 5-month, 12-nation humanitarian mission in the region. Check out the video below! #EnduringPromise #PromesaDuradera
#EnduringPromise Take a moment to check out all the work the New Horizons Guyana construction members have accomplished on across Linden and the village of Yarrowkabra.
Airmen from the U.S. and Colombia have worked closely this month during Exercise Relámpago! F-16s from the South Carolina Air National Guard have joined with Kfir fighters from the Fuerza Aérea Colombiana for this critical air-to-air exercise, which was also an opportunity to build relationships and strengthen ties between two partner nations. #Relámpago4 #EnduringPromise #Promesaduradera U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) Embajada de los Estados Unidos Colombia
The South Carolina Air National Guard worked together with the Fuerza Aérea Colombiana for exercise Relámpago in Rionegro, Colombia. Check out this video overview on how the United States Air Force works together with partner nations. #EnduringPromise #PromesaDuradera #Relámpago4 U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) Embajada de los Estados Unidos Colombia
🇺🇸🇨🇴🇩🇴🇪🇨🇸🇻🇬🇹🇵🇦🇵🇪Thank you to the 23 Inter-American Air Forces Academy (IAAFA) students from Fuerza Aérea Colombiana, Fuerza Aérea de República Dominicana, Fuerza AÉREA Ecuatoriana, FUERZA AEREA EL SALVADOR, Fuerza Aerea Guatemalteca Senan Panamá and Fuerza Aérea del Perú for visiting 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) and Davis-Monthan Air Force Base! IAAFA provides military education and training to military members of Partner Nations in the Americas. This training builds strong relationships with our Partner Nations military forces. #PromesaDuradera #EnduringPromise
Unsafe intercepts such as this are irresponsible. They increase the risk and potential for collisions. International airspace needs to be a place where everyone flies safely and within international norms.
After a successful F-AIR Colombia air show, the U.S. and the Fuerza Aérea Colombiana continued their work together during Exercise Relámpago! Airmen from the South Carolina Air National Guard worked closely with their counterparts in the Colombian Air Force and continued to share knowledge, exchange experiences and improve interoperability between partner nations. #Relámpago4 #EnduringPromise #PromesaDuradera U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) Embajada de los Estados Unidos Colombia
🇺🇸🇬🇾 A U.S. Army veterinarian team from the 109th Veterinarian Detachment was joined by volunteers from World Vets to help Guyanese pet owners and farms take care of their animals during the Veterinarian Readiness Training Exercise (VETRETE) for the U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) New Horizons Training Exercise!
RT @FACh_Chile: Primera misión #FACh junto a la Guardia Aérea Nacional de #Texas @AirNatlGuard en Ejercicio Mobility Guardian 2019 #MG19. #…
@FACh_Chile is ready to train I'm #MG19! this exercise will build readiness and develop Airman to deliver… https://t.co/0VvrNxwwcv
RT @USAmbSV: Importante visita del General David Goldfein, jefe del Estado Mayor de la Fuerza Aérea de los EE.UU. Nuestros dos países gozan…
RT @Southcom: #SOUTHCOM's & @AFSOUTH's training exercise #NewHorizons19, kicks off in #Guyana, next month. The 3-month event will train U.S…
RT @jtfbravo: #Guatemala #Honduras #ElSalvador #CostaRica #Belize and @AFSOUTH firefighters participate in an obstacle course challenge dur…
Today we raise our goblets to a true U.S. Air Force legend. Retired #USAF Lieutenant Colonel Richard “Dick” Cole, t… https://t.co/bdIQdwPHgU
RT @jtfbravo: Major General Croft @AFSOUTH CDR conducted a Town Hall at Soto Cano to meet with our @usairforce personnel and JTF-Bravo key…
RT @jtfbravo: #612ABS personnel assisted the Honduran Fire Department in fighting a large wildlife in the Comayagua mountains earlier today…
🇺🇸🇨🇴We are honored to have Commander of the @FuerzaAereaCol Maj. Gen. Ramsés Rueda Rueda visiting 12th Air Force (… https://t.co/ixdpM9nwOX
RT @FuerzaAereaCol: Finalizó el ejercicio #RedFlag 19-2 en la @NellisAFB #EstadosUnidos donde la @FuerzaAereaCol participó junto a 21 escua…
🇨🇴🇺🇸Wow! The @FuerzaAereaCol Multi-Mission Transport Tanker Jupiter 767 conducts air-to-air refueling with a… https://t.co/sOV4qBSFp2
RT @Southcom: #SOUTHCOM Military Dep. Commander @USAirForce Lt. Gen. Michael Plehn met today w/ Colombian Army Maj. Gen. Luis Navarro Jimén…
RT @NellisAFB: Colombian Air Force taking to the sky to refuel Blue Force fighters for #RedFlag 19-2! #FightsOn #NellisAFB #AimHigh https:/…
🇨🇴The @FuerzaAereaCol is training with 🇺🇸U.S. joint forces and 5 Partner Nation Air Forces at @NellisAFB for🚩… https://t.co/jymiF93okY
RT @Southcom: The U.S. today is airlifting more humanitarian aid, including medical supplies, to help the people of #Venezuela. In cooperat…
RT @USAIDMarkGreen: WHEELS UP 🛫! The U.S. is airlifting more assistance to help the people of #Venezuela. Water treatment units & other sup…
RT @Southcom: Humanitarian Aid for #Venezuela: Additional @USAirForce C-17 flying #humanitarian aid from Miami to Cúcuta, Colombia today. @…
RT @theOFDA: LIVE NOW: Relief supplies from @USAID just landed in Cucuta, Colombia to help tens of thousands of people affected by the #Ven
RT @Southcom: 1st of 3 @USAirForce C-17s flying #humanitarian aid from Miami to Cúcuta, Colombia, takes off from @Homestead_ARB. @StateDept