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U.S. and South Africa Prepare for Major Medical Military Exercise

United States European Command

Release Date: July 1, 2004

Embassy of the United States of America
Public Affairs Office
South Africa

Over 500 U.S. and South African military doctors, dentists, technicians, and support personnel will participate in a major military medical exercise, known as MEDFLAG, from July 6-19, in Hoedspruit and Ditholo in the Limpopo Province.

MEDFLAG, coordinated through the U.S. European Command (EUCOM), is an annual exercise taking place on the African continent. The exercise will provide training in realistic mass humanitarian crisis scenarios to over 200 US military personnel and approximately 300 of their South African counterparts. Participating South African and U.S. military medical personnel will also provide basic medical, pediatric, optometric, and dental care at no-cost to the surrounding local communicates at clinics identified by the Limpopo Province Department of Health.

Background: MEDFLAG exercises began in 1987 when the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff directed the European Command to begin conducting a series of medical exercises with African countries. Today MEDFLAG exercises are sophisticated, complex exercises offering the chance to conduct health care training, disaster relief training, and provide rare medical and dental care to the local African populations.

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