US, Nepal build relationships, improve lives

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A multinational team led by U.S., Nepalese, and Australian military members and civilians treated more than 4,100 villagers, repaired and renovated three schools, and shared expertise Sept. 10-15, during Operation Pacific Angel 12-4 in Nepal.

The first Pacific Angel mission in Nepal featured free medical assistance in pediatrics, optometry, physiotherapy, public health infection control, food safety, women's health and pre-post partum nutrition care.

A very real example of the benefits of working together came during the mission when a newborn baby got a second chance at life. The child was a breech birth, and local doctors had pronounced him dead when two Project Hope doctors teamed up with a Nepal army nurse to provide rescue breathing -- reviving him, to the delight of a grateful family.

In addition to the thousands of patients receiving care, 80 Nepal Aamy and U.S. military designers, electricians, plumbers, carpenters, painters and brick-layers enhanced and improved a school, hostel, restroom facilities, water tank and pump systems and school cafeteria at Macchapucchre primary and secondary schools and at the Macchhapuchhre district post.

The U.S. and Nepalese also shared information and techniques related to humanitarian assistance, disaster relief and emergency response. Members of the Nepal army, U.S. Air Force and Pokhara police force held classes and conducted simulated exercises at the Western Regional Nepal Army Headquarters.

The entire effort featured over 200 Nepal army, U.S. Air Force, Royal Australian Air Force and Mongolian Armed Forces members. They were assisted by the staffs of Gandaki Medical College, Teaching Hospital and Research Centre Private Limited (Charak Hospital), Himalaya Eye Hospital - Nau Danda Training Health Post and the Western Regional Health Directorate. Also helping were volunteers from the Junior Red Cross Of Shree Macchapuchhre Higher Secondary School,and the Dikhur Pokhari Youth Network.

Participants, officials and local citizens reflected on the successful mission during a ceremony at Machhapuchhre Higher Secondary School in Kaski District, Pokhara, on Sept. 17. During the closing festivities, a U.S. Air Force general officer spoke on the value of teamwork and partnership.

"We are honored to have worked alongside the Nepal army through our Pacific Angel program and deeply appreciate the hospitality our Nepalese hosts have extended to us," said Maj. Gen. Russell J. Handy,  the Director of Operations, Plans, Requirements and Programs for U.S. Pacific Air Forces.

"These efforts are a visible expression of our combined commitment to peace and stability in this region -- with the desire to strengthen the relationship between our countries and our continuing resolve to ensure increased humanitarian assistance and disaster relief in this region," Handy said. "Throughout this past week, we have been continually impressed with the professionalism of the Nepal army and applaud the Nepal army and the Ministry of Home Affairs for their diligent efforts to improve the quality of life of Nepal's citizens." 

Officiating over the ceremony for Nepal was Nepal Army Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Nepal Bhusan Chand and Western Division Commander Maj. Gen. Victor.

Since 2007, Pacific Angel operations have been the cornerstone of U.S. Pacific Air Force's engagement efforts to partner with host nation military personnel throughout the Asia-Pacific region to improve the lives of tens of thousands of people and integrate operations with like-minded military and civilian professionals.

(Courtesy of Pacific Air Forces Public Affairs)