Pacific Angel 17-2 concludes in Vietnam

TAM KY, QUANG NAM PROVINCE, Vietnam -- Pacific Angel 17 concluded September 18 with a closing ceremony here at the Truong Thcs Phan Tay Ho School.

“Pacific Angel events are a cornerstone of Pacific Air Forces relief efforts,” said U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. James Eifert, Air National Guard Assistant to the Commander, Pacific Air Forces. “Not only does Pacific Angel allow us to help people in need, but it also helps us to improve our interoperability with likeminded military and civilian, medical and engineering professionals in Vietnam and the region.”

Beginning September 10, the U.S. partnered with several nations to provide general health, pediatrics, physical therapy, dental and optometry services as well as structural, plumbing and electrical engineering improvements to several locations in the Tam Ky area.

“The challenge here is wanting to do more,” said U.S. Air Force Capt. Rebecca Englebretson, a family physician during Pacific Angel 17-2. “But the chronic diseases we're seeing don't lend themselves to just one doctor's visit.”

Despite the extreme temperatures, language barriers and somewhat limited resources, the medics, doctors and engineers did what they could over the 9-day period to improve the quality of life for the people of Tam Ky.

The combined capabilities allowed for medical care to be provided to 4,267 total patients, and infrastructure improvements made to eight sites throughout the area.

“During these engagements, we're focusing on interoperability,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Benjamin Doyle, Pacific Angel 17-2 mission commander. “If we're tasked to respond to a crisis, it's going to be joint and by working with our counterparts here in Vietnam, as well as our sister services, we're able to iron out processes and pull our resources to complete the mission.”

PACANGELs have built positive relations through interactions such as these for the last decade in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Timor-Leste, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Mongolia, Laos, Tonga, Nepal and Papua New Guinea.