US, local forces provide aid to Cambodians
US Marine Corps News
6/24/2011 By Cpl. Kentavist P. Brackin, Marine Corps Bases Japan
KAMPOT PROVINCE, Kingdom of Cambodia — More than 40 Marines and sailors from 3rd Medical Battalion, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, III Marine Expeditionary Force, provided medical and dental aid to more than 2,700 Cambodian citizens during the combined Medical Civic Action Program at the Chumkiri Secondary School here June 17-19.
The program is part of the Cambodia Interoperability Program 2011, a frequently-held exercise between the U.S. and Royal Cambodian Armed Forces that allows both nations to conduct medical and dental operations, improve interoperability by working together and fosters goodwill to ensure regional peace and stability.
“The mission was to build interoperability by providing aid to the people of Cambodia; so I believe all will consider this phase of our mission a success,” said Navy Lt. Jeff C. Hertz, officer-in-charge of operations for 3rd Med. Bn.
The sailors and Marines worked alongside RCAF medical personnel each day to provide medical and dental care to locals during the MEDCAP. Local residents received medical assistance, including medical consultation in pediatrics, reproductive health, optometry and surgical consultation.
“This is the first time our battalion has ever had a surgery team come along and participate in a MEDCAP,” said Hertz. “This opportunity has provided great training for our surgical personnel and has allowed patients to receive a service not offered within their community.”
Hua Hon, a Cambodian citizen, was very happy with the services provided. Hon’s son has suffered from coughs and night fevers ever since he was born, but his condition has never been officially diagnosed.
“I was happy to stand in line because I got to see American doctors before they left our village, and receive some medicine for my son,” said Hon.
Local residents were not the only ones grateful for CIP ‘11.
“I am very appreciative for clinic services the U.S. and Cambodian military provided here for the people. It is very important for their health,” said Kill Ratapon, the district governor for Chumriki. “I hope that our two countries will continue to work together and come here again in the future.”
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