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NEWS | Aug. 9, 2021

9th Mission Support Command Soldiers deliver medical supplies to Timor-Leste

By Sgt. Teresa Cantero Task Force Oceania

U.S. Army Soldiers from the U.S. Army Pacific Command, 9th Mission Support Command and Task Force Oceania delivered medical supplies to medical staff at the U.S. Embassy on July 28.

Delivery of the much-needed medical supplies to the island of Timor-Leste showcases the coordination and adaptability of the 9th Mission Support Command’s Task Force Oceania and its Oceania Pathway Teams which are embedded within their host countries.

“Timor-Leste is one of the most isolated U.S. government outposts in the world,” said U.S. Ambassador to Timor-Leste Kevin Blackstone. “And we appreciate all assistance to keep us appropriately resourced.”

This shipment was especially beneficial because it provided medical supplies that cannot be found on the local market, said Mathew McCarty, the General Services officer and Acting Management officer for the U.S. Embassy in Timor-Leste.

“Currently, shipping times are very long, and sometimes by the time we receive these necessary medical supplies, they have already or are about to expire,” said McCarty.

Having the soldiers bring in these medical supplies provides the embassy with a longer-term solution to first aid and healthcare needs, McCarty said.

“Pre-pandemic, it was already a challenge for U.S. Embassy Dili to procure medications which are also not available locally, much more so during this pandemic,” said Dr. Doyeth De Los Reyes, the physician assigned to the U.S. Embassy Health Unit in Timor-Leste. “I hope we are able to consider more non-traditional options like this shipment for remote posts like ours.”

The U.S. Army is committed to ensuring the health and safety of our Soldiers, family members, retirees and civilians, and host nation participants and populations both at home and abroad.

“Due to a critical shortage of over-the-counter medications and the difficulty of finding these medications on the local economy in Timor-Leste, the U.S. Embassy Health Unit procured the items and Task Force Oceania received, transported, and delivered them in a timely manner,” said Lt. Col. Hope Hashimoto, mission planner and critical care nurse with the 1984th Army Hospital, Army Reserve, Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment.

Hashimoto traveled with the supplies from Honolulu and was present when they were hand-delivered to the Embassy’s medical staff.

“The delivery of these medications demonstrates the Army's commitment to the health and well-being of our U.S. embassy personnel and our determination to provide necessities that are basic and readily available in the United States.”