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NEWS | July 11, 2024

Combined American and Chadian medical exercise concludes

By Maj. Edward McBride U.S. Army Southern European Task Force, Africa

Soldiers from the 3rd Medical Command (Deployment Support), a U.S. Army Reserve unit headquartered in Atlanta, concluded their time in N’Djamena, Chad, with a closing ceremony hosted by Chadian Armed Force [Forces Armées Tchadiennes], at the Garnison Military Hospital on June 26, 2024.

The Soldiers, mostly from the 402 Forward Resuscitative Surgical Detachment (FRSD), participated with Chadian Armed Forces medical personnel for U.S. Africa Command’s Medical Readiness Exercise (MEDREX) from June 12 -26 in N’Djamena.

During the 14-day exercise American and Chadian medical partners accumulated approximately 288 patient encounters, with three adult and one pediatric patient’s injuries directly resulting from the June 18 ammunition depot explosion. The encounters consisted of sedations, initial triage, surgeries, consultations and wound care.

“The Chad MEDREX mission was a truly incredible experience for our team. We not only got to train and learn alongside Chadian medical personnel, enhancing our own medical practices, but we also got to develop lasting partnerships with the Chadian personnel and learn more about their culture,” said U.S. Army Capt. Jacqueline Corcoran, 402nd FRSD executive officer.

Assembled for their two weeks of required annual military training, the U.S. element consisted of sixteen U.S Army Reserve Soldiers from five units under the unified leadership of Capt. Gary Senecal, the 402 FRSD commander. In addition to parterning at the Garnison Military Hospital, the U.S. team also visited the Chadian Air Force [Armée De L’air Tchadiennes] Centre de Coordination des opérations des Évacuations Sanitaires Aéroportées and oberved a Chadian patient medical evacuation training utilizing a static display helicopter.

The participants included a general surgeon, an orthopedic surgeon, nurse anesthetists, operating room technician, pharmacist, emergency physician, nurses and combat medics each participating with their respective Chadian medical counterparts.

In his closing ceremony remarks, the U.S. Embassy N’Djamena Chargé d’affaires, Mr. Rick Swart sais, “This is evidence that strong American-Chadian cooperation will save lives.”

MEDREXs are a partner lead, U.S. enabled, medical readiness exercise program, planned and executed by U.S. Army Southern European Task Force, Africa (SETAF-AF), allowing military health professionals from the U.S. and partner nations to exchange medical practices, procedures and techniques focused on building and strengthening treatment capabilities, and building relationships between the medical professionals.

Leaders and participants alike highlighted the unique partnership opportunities afforded throughout the medical exercise and forged during the two weeks of combined work.

“I want to salute your massive presence at this closing ceremony of MEDREX 24 despite your busy schedules. This medical exercise in partnership with the USA is a unique opportunity for the health personnel of our two armies to share their experiences in various areas of human health," said Chadian Armed Force [Forces Armées Tchadiennes] Général de division Yangmargue Beh Félix, 2d deputy to the chief of defense.

MEDREXs support the U.S. strategic objective of promoting peace and security in Africa by ensuring that both U.S. and partner nation medical teams are prepared to respond effectively to health crises.