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Pacific Angel begins in Indonesia

  • Published
  • By Capt. Joost Verduyn
  • Pacific Angel 13-2 Public Affairs
Service members from the Republic of Indonesia, alongside 56 members of the U.S. military kicked-off the second iteration of Operation Pacific Angel 2013 here, April 22.
Operation Pacific Angel 13-2, scheduled through April 27, is a joint-combined humanitarian assistance operation to support U.S. Pacific Command's and Pacific Air Forces' capacity-building efforts with Asia-Pacific countries.

Pacific Angel 13-2 commenced with construction on three sites in the area of Yogyakarta.

"We are working on a kindergarten, replacing lighting and ceiling fans, and improving the structure," said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Kevin Higgins, a Pacific Angel 13-2 civil engineering lead from Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. "We are also repairing a clinic which lost its roof due to the volcano eruption in 2010. Lastly, we are working on a hospital where we are providing hot water in the surgery room and improved lighting."

"We are building better relationships through supporting the community here," said Higgins. "It feels really good to be a part of something like this."

Medical care will begin April 23, and will include primary care, dental, optometry and physical therapy. In addition to the Indonesian and U.S. Air Forces, service members from Timor Leste and the Philippines will work together to provide care to the local community.

Subject-matter expert exchanges on aeromedical evacuations, public health, security and safety will also take place throughout the week.

"Partnering in operations such as Pacific Angel, Indonesia enhances our ability to work together and effectively respond to humanitarian disaster relief and international peacekeeping operations," said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Keith Gibson, commander of Pacific Angel 13-2, from Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

"The work we do here and the relationships we build help develop a strong partnership in Indonesia that will promote democracy, security and regional stability in the future," said Gibson.

Operation Pacific Angel missions were previously conducted in Indonesia in 2009 and 2011. The first Pacific Angel of this year was conducted in the Philippines in March, and three others are scheduled for Vietnam, Sri Lanka and Cambodia.