Vermont National Guard members deploy for medical readiness exercise in Senegal

VermontBiz On Saturday, June 1, over 30 Soldiers and Airmen with the Vermont National Guard will depart for Tambacounda and Kedougou, Senegal, to participate in a medical readiness exercise through the State Partnership Program.

Vermont service members will join colleagues from the New Hampshire National Guard, U.S. Army Southern European Task Force – Africa and the Austrian Bundesheer in Senegal for the exercise, which will run for about two weeks.

State Partners Vermont and Senegal Work Together for MEDREX 23

Photo By Sgt. 1st Class Jason Alvarez | U.S. Army National Guard 2nd Lt. Peter Lannon, a registered nurse with the Vermont Army National Guard's Medical Detachment, administers medications for a patient at the Thies Regional Hospital during a Medical Readiness Exercise in Senegal. The Vermont Soldiers and Airmen are participating in a MEDREX organized by the State Partnership Program (SPP) and administered by National Guard Bureau. The MEDREX allows medical personnel from the U.S. military and partner nations to exchange medical procedures and strengthen treatment capabilities. The exercise exposes participants to unique medical delivery methods, and ultimately improve their capacity to assess and deliver medical care. The Vermont National Guard and Senegal have been partnered through SPP since 2008. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. 1st Class Jason Alvarez).

The Vermont National Guard members, who are mostly assigned to the Garrison Support Command Medical Detachment out of Colchester and the 158th Fighter Wing’s Medical Group, will work alongside Senegalese civilian and military medical professionals for peer-to-peer medical collaboration in a variety of medical specialties. In addition to helping patients, Vermont and Senegalese medical professionals will share best practices.

“These exercises are invaluable,” said Lt. Col. James Burrows, the Vermont National Guard officer-in-charge for the exercise. “Not only do our members get to practice their skills in a different environment, but we get to build relationships with our international colleagues while exchanging knowledge and best practices.”

Maj. Gen. Gregory Knight, adjutant general of Vermont, will be in the Senegalese capital of Dakar for a coinciding state visit along with Austrian colleagues.

“Exercises like this are incredibly rewarding experiences for our Guard,” said Knight. “I know the lessons learned, relationships we build and positive impact on the Senegalese population during these opportunities have a profound effect on our Soldiers and Airmen. It truly is a remarkable part of service in our Guard.”

Both Senegal and Austria are partnered with Vermont through National Guard Bureau’s State Partnership Program, as well as Vermont’s inaugural partner, North Macedonia. The Vermont National Guard has been partnered with North Macedonia since 1993, Senegal since 2008 and the Republic of Austria since 2022. This is the seventh iteration of the medical training exercise in Senegal since 2018.

For more information, contact Public Affairs Officer; Capt. Mikel Arcovitch, (802) 338-3434, or email [email protected].


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