Pacific Angel in Indonesia Begins

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Service members from the Indonesian and U.S. militaries kicked-off the Indonesia portion of Operation Pacific Angel 2013 April 22 in Yogyakarta. Operation Pacific Angel 2013, scheduled through April 27 for Indonesia, is a joint-combined humanitarian assistance operation to support capacity-building efforts with Asia-Pacific countries. In Indonesia, Operation Pacific Angel 2013 includes joint construction projects at education and health sites.

“We are working on a kindergarten, replacing lighting and ceiling fans and improving the structure,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Kevin Higgins, Pacific Angel 2013 civil engineering lead from Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. “We are also repairing a clinic which had lost its roof due to the volcano eruption in 2010. Lastly, we are working on a hospital where we are providing hot water in the surgery room and improved lighting.”

“We are building better relationships through supporting the community here,” said Higgins. “It feels really good to be a part of something like this.” Medical care to local residents will begin April 23 and include primary care, dental care, optometry and physical therapy. In addition to the Indonesian and U.S. Air Forces, service members from Timor Leste and the Philippines also will work together to provide care to the local community.

Subject-matter expert exchanges on aeromedical evacuations, public health, security and safety will also take place throughout the operation. “Partnering in operations such as Operation Pacific Angel enhances our ability to work together and effectively respond to humanitarian disaster relief and international peacekeeping operations,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Keith Gibson, commander of Pacific Angel 2013 from Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. “The work we do here and the relationships we build help develop a strong partnership in Indonesia that will promote democracy, security and regional stability in the future,” said Gibson.

Operation Pacific Angel is a joint-combined humanitarian assistance exercise held in various countries several times throughout the year and includes medical care, dental care, optometry, engineering programs, and various subject-matter expert exchanges. This is the third time for Operation Pacific Angel to take place in Indonesia after successful programs in 2009 and 2011. The first segment of Operation Pacific Angel 2013 began in Philippines this past March, and, after Indonesia, the Operation will continue in Vietnam, Sri Lanka, and Cambodia.