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NEWS | July 11, 2024

U.S. Army Reserve deploys to Angola for medical readiness exercise

By Capt. Billy Lacroix U.S. Army Southern European Task Force, Africa

A specialized team from the 934th Forward Resuscitative Surgical Detachment (FRSD) based in Salt Lake City, Utah, arrived in Luanda to participate in the latest medical readiness exercise (MEDREX). Scheduled to span three weeks from July 8-20, this exercise marks a significant effort in fostering U.S.-Angola military medical collaboration.

MEDREX Angola is jointly planned by the Angolan Armed Forces and U.S. Army Southern European Task Force, Africa (SETAF-AF). The exercise aims to enhance medical readiness and build robust partnerships between U.S. and Angolan military medical professionals. Hospital Militar Principal in Luanda will host the event, where medical teams will work together across various specialties, including general surgery, nursing and emergency care.

“This is a great opportunity to collaborate with a foreign country, especially African" said Lt. Col. Cabot Murdock, lead surgeon with the 934th FRSD. "We’re looking forward to working together and collaborating with each other."

The exercise involves more than 20 U.S. Army Reserve surgeons, nurses, physician assistants and medics. These professionals will work closely with their Angolan counterparts, engaging in a variety of medical procedures and training sessions designed to enhance treatment capabilities and build lasting professional relationships.

“This exercise is extremely important and strengthens our relationship" said Angolan Army Col. Rui Manico, "By working side by side we have the chance to exchange experiences and learn new techniques.

MEDREX events have been a cornerstone of the U.S. military's efforts to promote peace and security in Africa by ensuring that both U.S. and partner nation medical teams are prepared to respond effectively to health crises. Since 2017, MEDREX initiatives have led to over 39,000 patient encounters across the African continent, significantly improving medical practices and healthcare delivery in host nations.

As the exercise progresses, the focus will remain on honing medical skills, exchanging knowledge and strengthening the bonds between U.S. and Angolan military forces. Based upon previous exchanges throughout Africa, participants expect to leave a lasting impact on the local population, improving the quality of medical care and readiness for both nations.

MEDREX is a medical readiness exercise program, planned and executed by SETAF-AF that allows military health professionals from the U.S. and their African partners to exchange medical practices, procedures and techniques that build and strengthen treatment capabilities, resulting in lasting relationships between the partners.

SETAF-AF provides U.S. Africa Command and U.S. Army Europe & Africa a dedicated headquarters to synchronize Army activities in Africa and scalable crisis-response options in Africa and Europe.