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Resolute Sentinel 21: SURGRETE provides hands-on experience for residents

  • Published
  • 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern)

The surgical readiness training exercise (SURGRETE) team has completed their nine days of surgeries at Hospital del Sur, May 27.

Over the course of two weeks, the team of U.S. military medics have completed over 40 surgeries ranging from simple transurethral resections of the prostate (TURP) to extensive kidney and gallbladder removals.

“Despite language barriers, our U.S. Air Force and Army medical team was able to come together with the Honduran medical team and give excellent patient care these last two weeks,” said U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Natalie Garmon, an operating room registered nurse with the 81st Medical Group, Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi. “We had many obstacles to overcome from limited resources to differences in practice, but every day we came in, overcame them, and improved the lives of countless patients.”

The SURGRETE team is headed home after learning important lessons that will help their patient care back in-garrison and in deployed environments.

“Our experience working with the local surgeon taught us to work through situations that we hadn’t yet encountered which will be extremely valuable in emergency situations back home and in the deployed environment,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Necia Pope, a urologist with the 59th Medical Wing, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. “When we came here, I thought we would be helping the Hondurans, but I have been awed by the grace and kindness of the locals here. I am leaving here with a deeper respect and friendship with the Honduran people.”

The team also heads home knowing they’ve changed the lives of every single patient they saw and the friendships they built.
“While there was an exchange of information, there was also a building of friendships, both personal and between countries,” said Dr. Jose Maria Paguada Mungia, the Choluteca Regional Health Director. “That is the goal with this exercise. We thank you for what you did these past two weeks, and what we can hopefully continue to do together. We look forward to Resolute Sentinel 22, and the work that will be done in the future through these exercises.”