Medical Airmen Mentoring Team Assists In Operations
Forward Operating Base Hero, Afghanistan
A brand new operating hospital has opened up in Afghanistan, a result of U.S. Medical troops and Afghan medical personnel working together in a cooperative effort. A special medical team of Airmen has acted as mentors and trainers, helping to bring along Afghan personnel in making the hospital ready to open.
The new Afghan National Army Hospital has been in the works for a long time. For months U.S. Medical personnel have been building the hospital training and teaching medical skills to their ANA counterparts.
“Our original mission was training and teaching medical skills to treat Afghan police and military members,” said Air Force Colonel Mike Skidmore. Colonel Skidmore is the senior administrator and mentor officer.
“That all changed as soon as we got here months ago,” said Colonel Skidmore. When Colonel Skidmore and his team arrived the hospital was far behind schedule, empty of personnel and no equipment.
“The facility was incomplete, and we had no medical personnel,” said Skidmore. Their mindset changed to setting up the hospital, providing the equipment, helping open it, then came the actual mentoring. “We had to change our mindset,” said Dr. Thomas Seay. Dr. Seay is an Air Force Colonel and the Chief Radiologist and Senior Medical Officer.
The equipment includes digital ultrasound and X-Ray equipment, and other specialized machines. A not-for-profit company based in Canada donated some of the equipment; the rest was paid for by the United States.
The facility is the most advanced hospital in the southern region of Afghanistan.