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Resolute Sentinel 21: Medics arrive in Honduras

Maria Antonieta Castro, director at Hospital del Sur, briefs the team of U.S.military medics in Choluteca, Honduras.

Maria Antonieta Castro, director at Hospital del Sur, briefs the team of U.S.military medics in Choluteca, Honduras, May 13, 2021. Resolute Sentinel 21 is a training opportunity with real-world benefits to increase JTF-B’s medical and operational readiness while helping local citizens. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Amanda Stanford)

A team of U.S. military medics take inventory of supplies at Hospital del Sur in Choluteca, Honduras.

A team of U.S. military medics take inventory of supplies at Hospital del Sur in Choluteca, Honduras, May 13, 2021. U.S. military doctors arrived in Choluteca for a urologic surgical readiness exercise to provide essential surgeries to pre-selected Honduran patients. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Amanda Stanford)

CHOLUTECA, Honduras --

U.S. Air Force and Army medics arrived in Choluteca, Honduras, May 12, to assist the local hospital with urologic surgeries during Resolute Sentinel 21.

Resolute Sentinel 21 provides joint training and improved readiness for U.S. civil engineers, medical professionals and support personnel through humanitarian assistance activities in Honduras.

The U.S. military doctors will use the exercise to provide essential surgeries to pre-selected Honduran patients.

“It’s very important to have the team here with us to assist with surgeries,” said Maria Antonieta Castro, director at Hospital del Sur in Honduras. “Our list of surgeries has gotten longer since COVID, and having the team here will allow us to conduct surgeries that these people really need. Not only are we going to do the surgeries, but they will be done with Honduran and American medical staff which creates union between communities and countries. I think that is one of the best things we can have.”

While the locals receive long awaited care, the medics are able to hone their skills on more invasive surgeries, keeping their deployment skills sharp.

“Surgeries like this don’t happen in the U.S.,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Necia Pope, a urologist with the 59th Medical Wing, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. “We have different equipment, and in this environment where equipment is constrained, being able to figure out a way through surgery without the equipment you’re used to is huge for readiness.”

The medics will complete at least 45 surgeries in two weeks before heading back to the U.S.

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