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Mass. detachment assumes Preventive Medicine duties in southern Afghanistan

January 2, 2013

By Sgt. Antonio Namwong, Task Force MED-A

KANDAHAR AIR FIELD, Afghanistan -- A ceremony was held Dec. 3, 2012, here, commemorating the transfer of authority from the 792nd Preventive Medicine Detachment based out of Lubbock, Texas, to the 794th Preventive Medicine Detachment, based out of Fort Devens, Mass.

The 794th has taken responsibility for providing Preventive Medicine care for more than 78 Forward Operating Bases located throughout Regional Command South and Regional Command West.

Maj. Carrie Monje, commander of the 792nd Med. Det. (PM), and Sgt. 1st Class Antonio Hart, cased their unit's guidon, and it will remain cased as the unit travels back to its home station.

Capt. Pratistha Bhandari, commander of the 794th Med. Det. (PM), and Staff Sgt. James Back, uncased their unit's guidon, symbolizing the beginning of their critical preventive medicine mission in support of Operating Enduring Freedom.

'I have the pleasure of commanding one of the most diverse and talented preventive medicine detachments in the Army,' Bhandari said. 'We will provide all facets of preventive medicine support to include entomological, epidemiological, environmental engineering and occupational health support to minimize disease and non-battle injuries and other health threats to deployed forces in theater.'

Col. William Drennon, commander of Task Force 14 Medical, welcomed the 794th Med. Det. (PM) to the team and Afghanistan.

'Welcome, to the 794th PM Detachment, the 'Lava Manus' Team from Fort Devens, Massachusetts,' said Drennon. 'Captain Bhandari and Staff Sergeant Back, welcome to the 'First to Care' and 'Victory Medics' Team. You have an extremely important mission to accomplish over the next nine months. The 792nd has set the conditions for your success and I am confident that you are up to the task and that your team will excel in all facets.'

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