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Operation PACIFIC ANGEL 15-3 spreads care in Vietnam

April 7, 2015
By Staff Sgt. Tong Duong

QUANG NGAI, Vietnam -- Entering its eighth year, PACANGEL ensures the region's militaries are prepared to work together to address humanitarian crises. Since 2007, PACANGEL operations have improved the lives of tens of thousands of people.

'Providing humanitarian assistance is an important part of our United States Pacific Command,' said Lt. Col. Darcie Yoshimoto, PACANGEL 15-3 mission commander. 'Working with our host nation to provide medical and engineering projects directly impacts and helps the people in the Quang Ngai province of Vietnam.'

Lead by Pacific Air Forces, PACANGEL is a total force, joint and combined operation involving more than 45 U.S. military members who are deployed to Vietnam to partner with local non-governmental organizations and host-nation military forces to provide various functions. This includes health-services outreach, engineering civil action programs, as well as various subject matter expert exchanges.

Medical professionals and civil engineers from the U.S. Army, Marines, Navy and Air Force set up temporary clinics to provide general health, optometry, dental, physical therapy, pediatrics and engineering programs for at least 2,500 patients, according to Yoshimoto, who is deployed from 713th Combat Operations Squadron, Detachment 1 at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii.

Pacific Angel participants are also renovating two schools and two district medical clinics by providing structural, roofing, plumbing, electrical and painting repairs.

For Senior Airman Hoang Nguyen, 18th Civil Engineer Squadron water and fuel maintenance specialist from Yokota Air Base, Japan, helping to improve the living conditions for others gives him a sense of pride.

'The majority of my relatives live within hours of this province, so it feels good to be part of this operation and have a direct impact on their lives,' Nguyen said. 'Their standard of living is different from ours, so we are retrofitting the plumbing of two schools and two medical clinics with up-to-date and higher quality parts to ensure sanitary conditions and that these upgrades last a lot longer.'

Although this is the fifth time U.S. military members have worked with host-nation military personnel to improve quality of life throughout the region, this is the first multilateral operation to take place in Vietnam, with members of the Royal Cambodian, Republic of Singapore and Royal Thai air forces.

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