U.S., Philippines successful in first PACANGEL of 2017

Members of Pacific Angel (PACANGEL) 2017 pose for a group photo during the closing the ceremony in Bogo City, Northern Cebu Province, Philippines, July 3, 2017. PACANGEL is a multilateral humanitarian assistance civil military engagement, which improves military-to-military partnerships in the Pacific while also providing medical health outreach, civic engineering projects and subject matter exchanges among partner forces. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Jeff Andrejcik)

Members of Pacific Angel (PACANGEL) 2017 pose for a group photo during the closing the ceremony in Bogo City, Northern Cebu Province, Philippines, July 3, 2017. PACANGEL is a multilateral humanitarian assistance civil military engagement, which improves military-to-military partnerships in the Pacific while also providing medical health outreach, civic engineering projects and subject matter exchanges among partner forces. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Jeff Andrejcik)

NORTHERN CEBU PROVINCE, Philippines -- In Northern Cebu Province, from June 23 to July 3, 2017, the United States and Philippines conducted the first of four Pacific Angel (PACANGEL) events scheduled for 2017.

The exchange included U.S. and Filipino service members as well as local non-governmental organizations and other multi-lateral international participants, who provided humanitarian assistance to local residents and shared information in a wide range of civic engagements.

“These kinds of areas are very far from medical centers and these people may not receive full support services from the government,” said Col. Danilo Ibon, Armed Forces of the Philippines mission commander. “Actions like this are appreciated and welcome. We are thankful to the U.S. government and to Pacific Air Forces particularly for giving us this opportunity to serve the people in this community.”

During five days of health service outreach, the PACANGEL team saw thousands of patients who received medicine as well as dental, optometry, pediatric and physical therapy treatment.

Local residents also benefited from renovations on many of their facilities including several schools and a health center, which were updated with better lighting, air circulation and plumbing.

“For the last two PACANGELs I was involved with we averaged [seeing] 3 to 4,000 patients total and with this one we’re nearing 6,000 on five days of execution,” said Lt. Col. Edward Khim, PACANGEL mission commander. “Our doctors and even our engineers are getting great interoperability training with their counterparts and the multinational team that’s here. This is some crucial training they’re getting and our [medical team] gets to see things they don’t normally see back at their home clinics.”

In total, 6,657 patients received medical care over five days of execution and seven facilities were renovated over the full ten days. The communities of San Remigio and Bogo City also received a donation of the remaining medical supplies, which included physical therapy and dental chairs as well as $35,000 in medical supplies and equipment.

The Philippines is the first country to host PACANGEL in 2017. Vietnam, Fiji and Nepal are all scheduled to hold PACANGEL events throughout the rest of the year.