Operation Continuing Promise 2008 – 4
SONSANATE, El Salvador (May 26, 2008) Lt. Elizabeth Leavitt of the U.S. Public Health Service, embarked aboard the USS Boxer (LHD 4), translates for her colleagues to a Salvadoran man at the Sonsanate landfill during the Pacific phase of Continuing Promise (CP) 2008. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Brian Gaines
USS Boxer (LHD 4) along with various embarked units and non-governmental organizations (NGO) arrived in Acajutla, May 19 for the second stop of Continuing Promise (CP) 2008.
CP is a collaborative effort between the United States and partner militaries, non-governmental organizations and partner-nation support organizations to build strong partnerships that can be called upon in the event of a regional situation requiring cooperative solutions.
CP’s medical contingent, led by the embarked Fleet Surgical Team (FST) 5, will spend six work days alongside local medical providers at El Salvador’s Miravalle and El Sunza schools providing primary medical care to nearly 6,000 Salvadoran citizens. The team will also spend 10 days at El Salvador’s Sonsonate Regional Hospital performing hospital equipment repairs and holding education and training to hospital staff, while also sharing ideas and experiences on best practices for long-term public health solutions.
While anchored off the coastline, Boxer’s medical facilities will host 10 surgical patients a day across nine days. Surgeries will include cyst and gallbladder removal and minor hernia repair.
SONSONATE, El Salvador (May 19, 2008) Hospitalman Ricardo Perez, Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Andino Palacio and Emergency Medical Technician Julie Whitis, all assigned to the medical education team embarked aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4) demonstrate cardio pulmonary resuscitation to a group of medical personnel at Sonsonate Regional Hospital during Continuing Promise (CP) 2008. U.S. Army photo by Specialist Brian R. Williams
The Continuing Promise (CP) 2008 medical education team taught basic life support and advanced cardiac life support classes to a group of medical professionals, May 20, at El Salvador’s Sonsonate Regional Hospital.
CP is a humanitarian civic assistance mission teaming American and Salvadoran health care providers and relief capabilities to demonstrate the cooperative partnerships among allies.
The basic life support class included teaching the El Salvadoran medical personnel how to perform basic cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) for adults as well as children.
The advance cardiac life support class was taught mainly to doctors, nurses and hospital workers with more medical expertise because it involves the use of a manual defibrillator.
The team taught a demonstrative class to train the students in the different aspects of advanced cardiac life support. They offered the students hands on-training with life-like mannequins.
“It’s interesting to watch everybody get to do CPR with the mannequins and integrating it with a lot of teaching and instructional tools that we use when we do resuscitation or CPR in a hospital,” said Capt. Luis Orosz, CP 2008 medical contingent commander. “Everybody gets their hands in some of the skills that were taught.”
Partner nations sharing health education through training like this extends the medical care provided by the teams ashore long after Boxer’s Continuing Promise mission leaves El Salvador.
“It’s very important to have knowledge of CPR so that we can help people in an emergency and respond to heal a natural disaster, automobile accident or even an illness,” said Pablo Alberto Cortez Grande, a community family medic.
Most of the students had practicing physician or active nursing levels of experience. They were constantly active in the classes by asking questions and sharing tips during the CPR demonstrations.
“I am very grateful for the classes and the opportunity to learn the most up to date techniques while working side by side with a neighbor and partner nation,” said Cortez. “This is more than an opportunity, it is an honor. We hope this type of work continues. We are very grateful and we would very happily receive any additional training.”
The medical education team consists of medical professionals from Boxer, Project Hope, U.S. Public Health Service and Fleet Surgical Team 5.
ALCAJUTLA, El Salvador (May 19, 2008) Construction Mechanic 2nd Class Roberto Duajardo, Builder 3rd Class Justin Lewis and Steelworker Constructionman William Stimson, dig a hole with an auger to insert posts for new fencing at Canton La Sunza school in El Salvador as part of Continuing Promise (CP) 2008. The three Seabees are assigned to Construction Battalion Maintenance Unit (CBMU) 303, embarked aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4). Army photo by Specialist Brian R. Williams
ACAJUTLA, El Salvador (May 24, 2008) Lt. Cmdr. Phillip B. Creider, Chaplain for the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4), welds sheet metal at the Canton La Sunza school renovation site during Continuing Promise (CP) 2008. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Joshua Jarvis
Construction Battalion Maintenance Unit (CBMU) 303, embarked aboard USS Boxer (LHD 4), began renovations at a local school in Alcajutla, May 20, as part of Continuing Promise (CP) 2008.
CP is an equal-partnership mission enabling American and partner-nation civil engineers to share ideas to provide effective infrastructure solutions, while also building on long-term bonds.
The Seabees worked along with the Salvadoran military’s Command of Engineers in a four-day process to begin renovating Canton La Sunza’s school house in Alcajutla.
For most CBMU 303 Seabees, the Continuing Promise mission is the first time working with a partner-nation. However, it is the eigth time for the engineers of El Salvador to be working alongside their American counterparts.
“This is a large community, but we have little space for all the students,” said the school’s principal, Mauricio Torres. “It is a gift from God and a benefit for the children.”
Canton La Sunza is a public school that regularly hosts 400-500 children annually. They currently have 497 students attending, who take classes either in the morning or afternoon in one of seven small classrooms.
The Seabees and partner-nation civil engineers are working together to repair electrical wiring, plumbing, fencing, renovate a kitchen as well as two new sinks and a brand new incinerator to a school that has not been upgraded in 14 years.
“As a principal, I am satisfied. Because of this support, the school will have another face to it; a better face. You won’t see that ugly school that is falling apart,” said Torres. “It will be a new school, and it will captivate the children. They will like coming to school instead of being unmotivated.”
SONSONATE, El Salvador (May 23, 2008) U.S. Public Health Service nurse, Cmdr. Kimberly Elenberg and Army Capt. (Dr.) Karin Potirus, embarked aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4), provide immunizations for two Salvadoran children. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Matthew Jackson
ACAJUTLA, El Salvador (May 26, 2008) Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Linda Grant, embarked aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4), gives a Salvadoran girl a dental exam at the Canton la Sunza school during a Continuing Promise (CP) 2008 community relations project. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Porter Anderson
ACAJUTLA, El Salvador (May 26, 2008) Lt. Megan Rieman, embarked aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4), gives a Salvadoran girl an eye exam at the Canton la Sunza school during a Continuing Promise (CP) 2008 community relations project. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Porter Anderson
During the 13-day operation in El Salvador, Boxer’s embarked NGOs and military units worked side-by-side with partner-nation military and civilian professionals to provide medical, dental, optometry and veterinary care along with construction, renovation and small-scale civil engineering projects.
“Our mission was to provide healthcare and construction support,” said the mission commander for CP, Capt. Peter Dallman. “We were able to vastly exceed our goal because of the great support from our Salvadoran hosts.”
Medical specialists from Boxer, Fleet Surgical Team (FST) 5, the U.S. Public Health Service and Project HOPE worked together with Salvadoran medical professionals to conduct nearly 4,000 dental exams and procedures, more than 1,800 optometry exams, 62 surgeries aboard Boxer, provide nearly 8,000 patients primary medical care and filled more than 19,000 prescriptions at several sites in the area.
In addition to treatment, teams also conducted classes on personal and industrial hygiene, the safe preparation of food and water, child development and infant cardio-pulmonary resuscitation.
“The appreciation from the people who were served through the medical and dental selection program was overwhelming,” added Dallman. “There were lots of smiles.”
Seabees assigned to Construction Battalion Maintenance Unit (CBMU) 303 and Navy Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 5 completed projects at three sites including two schools and a main-road repair. The work included major plumbing and electrical upgrages, roof replacement, fence construction, kitchen renovation, replacing doors and windows, painting and landscaping.
Table of contents for Continuing Promise '08
- Operation Continuing Promise 2008 – 1
- Operation Continuing Promise 2008 – 2
- Operation Continuing Promise 2008 – 3
- Operation Continuing Promise 2008 – 4
- Boxer Arrives in Peru
- USS Boxer in Peru
- Operation Continuing Promise 2008 – 5
- USS Kearsarge Reports on Continuing Promise 2008
- Navy Knowhow Nudges Nun to Net
- Our Best: Reading to the Children
- Paint Is Progress
- A Picture Is Worth 1,000 Words
- Our Best: HOPE in Guyana
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