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NEWS | July 23, 2020

Task Force Spartan and 3rd MCDS tour results of host nation partnership

By Sgt. Andrew Valenza Task Force Spartan

The 3rd Medical Command (Deployment Support) and Task Force Spartan toured a unique quarantine facility operated by the Kuwait Ministry of Defense residents of Kuwait on July 3, 2020.

A result of the U.S./Kuwaiti partnership, the facility is located at a renovated family-friendly amusement center in downtown Kuwait City.

In response to the COVID-19 epidemic, U.S. forces have worked closely with host nations such as Kuwait, to assist and provide planning, logistical, and operational guidance to help keep both Soldiers and civilians remain safe.

Col. Darrin Dailey, a military liaison from the 3rd Medical Command, United States Army Reserve, has worked closely with Col. Raed Altajalli, the commander of the Kuwaiti Ministry of Defense COVID-19 facility.

According to Dailey, the 3rd’s role in this partnership has been focused solely on advising the host nation.

“[We have] assisted these camps purely from an advisory role,” said Dailey. “Col. Altajalli used the blueprint of Arifjan’s Quarantine and Isolation facility for his own.”

Dailey added they provided a liaison to discuss any issue the Kuwaitis may have along with a logistics team to advise and assist in improving the facilities' supply system.

According to Altajalli, the site started accepting patients in April and can handle between 1,000 to 1,200 patients but comes with its challenges like maintaining cold water without damaging equipment such as refrigerators.

“Hot water was the biggest challenge with the camp because of the tent, coolant inside and the electricity, and all of this stuff. It is affected by the heat…heat has broken everything, so this is our main challenge,” said Altajalli.

Within the facility, most tents can hold up to four patients and include air conditioning wall lockers and a communal refrigerator.

Medical and logistics support was not the only example of support U.S. personnel provided its host nation. In addition to providing medical guidance to the Kuwait Ministry of Defense, Engineers from the 42nd Infantry Division offered advisory support for the more technical parts of setting up quarantine facilities.

Task Force Spartan Shield Division Engineer, Lt. Col. Michael Rodriguez, spoke about the work his team did in advising KMOD.

“We started meeting with them, and they said they needed confirmation that the set up was good,” said Rodriguez. “They were looking at building out capacity. They looked at schools or warehouses that they could reutilize, so that was our input.”

With the help of Rodriguez and his team, the KMOD now has templates of how to set up similar facilities for future events or emergencies.

“The Kuwaitis will have a plan that will be vetted in place that they can utilize and feel confident that they can execute an emergency management plan.”

Both Dailey and Altajalli are happy with the transparency and partnership between nations.

“It’s been a great diplomatic relationship,” said Dailey.

“We are doing our best, working with my friend Col. Dailey, exchanging the information and it’s very transparent,” said Altajalli. “At the end of the day, we are on the same page and trying to keep our officers and soldiers as safe as we can from the corona virus.”